Detective Joona Linna is finishing out a sentence at Kumla prison for assaulting an officer in the course of his last investigation when he is summoned to a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister. The Foreign Minister has been brutally murdered. There’s a chance more political figures could be targeted. The police need Linna to find the killer and neutralize the threat, so he’s granted a temporary release from prison. But when another murder occurs, Linna realizes he’s dealing with something far more complex, and far more terrifying, than anyone imagined. As the body count grows, Linna begins to understand that he can’t do this alone and he reaches out to Saga Bauer, the young Security Police detective, for help. Now, together, the two race against time to unravel the killer’s intricate plan before he can take his ultimate revenge.
As the card carrying president of the Lars Kepler fan club, it is my duty to let you know that our favorite married writing duo is back with another winning installment in the Joona Linna series. Writing serial killer thrillers alongside your spouse must be the grandest form of couples therapy, and I think we should all find something that we can do with our partners to bond at this level. Whether or not you’ve begun the series from The Hypnotist or jumped in later with The Sandman, I do recommend having some previous experience with the series before reading The Rabbit Hunter. Not only are the individual cases being solved in each book fantastic, but the ongoing backstory that is developed within the reoccurring characters is exquisite as well.
Once again, we have the writing team’s trademark short chapters, which provide a snappy, fast paced setting within a rather large page count. I think this alone is why I find myself blowing through these 500+ page novels so quickly; it’s the quintessential experience of “just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed”, until you realize it’s 3 am and you’ve finished the entire book. The Rabbit Hunter also chugs forward with Joona and Saga’s ongoing trials, and these dispersed between the hunt for a demented serial killer built a level of tension that few authors know how to achieve. I never seem able to solve the cases in these books before the big reveal, which is always a satisfying achievement, and The Rabbit Hunter was no different. Can we also acknowledge that no one can do the gasp inducing final page like Lars Kepler? If you’re a fan of dark, gritty, and violent thrillers, you need to stop sleeping on this writing duo and devour their books. Come find me when you finish, and we can commiserate over having to wait for the next book, Lazarus, to be released.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy!
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