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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: THE SANDMAN, Lars Kepler


"Wow. Just wow. This book will have you hooked from the very first page"


He’s Sweden’s most prolific serial killer.

Jurek Walter is serving a life sentence. Kept in solitary confinement, he is still considered extremely dangerous by psychiatric staff.

He’ll lull you into a sense of calm.

Mikael knows him as “The Sandman”. Seven years ago, he was taken from his bed along with his sister. They were both presumed dead.

He has one target left.

When Mikael is discovered on a railway line, close to death, the hunt begins for his sister. To get to the truth, Joona Linna will need to get closer than ever to the man who stripped him of a family; the man who wants Linna dead.


Wow. Just wow. This book will have you hooked from the very first page – and have you hurriedly turning every one after that. It gets straight into the action, and maintains that pace without it ever feeling forced. Once again, a Scandie crime writer is showing the rest of the world how it’s done.

The story is a wonderful, twisted tale that despite its complexity all meshes together perfectly. Troubled good guys struggle against devilishly clever bad guys – but none of them is flawed simply for the sake of the story, as the reasons why they are the way they are slowly become revealed. Is the tale realistic? Possibly not, but when a read is this good you just won’t care.

My only criticism is that I really hate the tense it is written in. Kepler has chosen present tense, and I always find it a little weird to read. It’s a personal thing though, and not everyone will feel the same as I do – and ultimately, this is such a great read that I am more than willing to forgive it its foible.

This novel had me torn between racing to the end, and trying to slow myself down so I could postpone the inevitable finish. Keplar just got himself a new fan!

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