Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Rabbit Hunter - Lars Kepler

The Rabbit Hunter is the latest (6th) book in the Joona Linna series from husband and wife writing duo Lars Kepler.

Followers of the series will know that things went sideways for now ex-Detective Joona and two of his coworkers in the last book. Joona shouldered the blame and has now been in prison for two years.

But when a high ranking Swedish official is brutally murdered, Joona is offered a deal. Help find the killer and be pardoned. Joona takes the deal - yes, he wants out of prison, but solving crimes is what drives him.

The opening prologue sets the tone of the book. A particularly brutal murder of a particularly loathsome man. (Gentle readers - there are graphic scenes and plot devices in this book.) The killer is given a voice and his chapters are quite chilling.

Saga Bauer is back and she is one of my favourite characters, on par with Joona. She's tough, driven and highly intelligent - just like Joona. The time in prison has given Joona time to think about his personal life. This release will give him time to pursue it. Many of the relationships in the book are fractured - and this ties in with the main plotline.

The pace is quick, the action is constant and the tension rises. Although I expected a dark read, this one was really dark - some of the story seems like oddly gratuitous sex (Jeanette in the bathroom?!) and violence that has no bearing on the case. The last page had me wondering if I had a page missing in my copy. It ends a bit abruptly, but sets the stage (and crime) for the next Joona Linna book. If you like dark Scandi noir, this is a series for you. Read an excerpt of The Rabbit Hunter.

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