Review: The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Posted March 26, 2019 by sinfully in Crime, Crime Thriller, Mystery, Police Procedural, Psychological, Review, Thriller / 0 Comments

Review: The Chestnut Man by Søren SveistrupThe Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on September 3, 2019
Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Police Procedural, Mystery
Pages: 400


The heart-pounding debut from the creator of the hit Scandinavian television show The Killing.

If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe.

While investigating a murder scene of a local woman found with her hand chopped off and a chestnut doll left at the crime scene, Naia Thulin, a dectrive with the Major Crimes Division and Mark Hess, an ex-Europool investigator link the case to a politician’s daughter, Kristine Hartung, who went missing less than a year ago. When another crime scene surfaces with the chestnut doll calling card, it becomes a race against time to find the killer responsible before even more women die. But, what do these murders have to do with Kristine Hartung and is she the link that can break the case wide open?

I admit that I do not read enough nordic noir and I am seriously kicking myself right now because The Chestnut man by Søren Sveistrup is nordic noir at its finest. At first, I was a bit leery with the daunting page count of over 500 pages, but once I started reading I was immediately sucked into the storyline. Right from the first chapter you are thrust right into the action and it is quite gruesome. This is the type of book that will really freak you out if you read it at night. The story really builds the deeper you get into it. I found the twists to be quite shocking and quite unexpectedly thrown in when least expected which made for a fantastic read that grabs you and does not let go. Being that this is a rather long book, I did like the short chapters which usually ended on some sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to keep continuing and with saying this, the story seems to move along at a faster rate and I quickly lost all sense of the page count and wound up staying up way later that I wanted to. I did keep going back and forth on who the killer is and was pretty shocked at the final reveal. I do like how this story is intricately layered with many parts that tie in really nicely and I feel that Søren Sveistrup did a fantastic job bringing everything together.

I really loved the characterization of Naia Thulin and Mark Hess and found them to be fully fleshed out characters that you can sympathize with as well as root for. Naia is a single mom with a past. She is the youngest detective in the Major Crimes Division and often gets flack from her male counterparts. But, she is an outstanding detective for the most part, but at times I found her to give up a bit too easily especially when it comes to the Chestnut Man. Thulin is saddled with Mark Hess, currently bounced out of the Hague and sent to Denmark as a kind of punishment. Hess really has no interest in the case in the beginning and he certainly is not gaining any favor with Thulin who quite frequently leaves him out of major developments. Hess rather just do his time in Denmark until he can go back to his cushy job at the Hague, that is until pieces of the puzzle start connecting and his interest in the Chestnut Man case starts to pique his interest. Although, I loved Thulin, Hess was definitely my favorite character by far. He is so multi layered with a past of his own, but he is like a dog with a bone when it comes to this case and often defies the head of the Major Crimes Division while trying to solve the case. I do admit I was quite sad when this book ended because I really want to see more of Thulin and Hess and feel they make a great team. Also, the ending is kind of left open to perhaps seeing them again in the future. One can only hope this is true!

The Chestnut Man certainly lives up to its hype. If you love a gory story with many twists and turns then you will definitely want to pick up a copy of this book. This is definitely a five star read and one I wholeheartedly recommend.

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup is another fabulous buddy read with my friends. Please visit their blogs and see their wonderful reviews for The Chestnut Man

Kerry @

Kate @

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