Stalker Book Review

Stalker Book Review

Title: Stalker
Author: Lars Kepler
Published: June 1, 2019, Harper Collins
No. of Pages: 561
Cover Price: $12.99 Kindle

Stalker is the fifth novel in the popular Joona Linna series by a Swedish husband and wife team, Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, whose are known by the pseudonym Lars Kepler. The series takes place in Sweden and has a Scandinavian slant. Detective Margo Silverman of the Swedish National Crime Unit is put in charge of a unique murder investigation. Videos are being sent to them showing victims, who are later found violently murdered with mutilated faces. By the time the tapes arrive, there is not much the National Crime Unit can do, since the victims were filmed earlier and are on the verge of being murdered. Margo is unable to find the victims with the sketchy clues in the videos before the murders occur. Joona Linna had disappeared several years before, but is located and agrees to help with the investigation. Erik Maria Bark, who is a psychologist specializing in trauma and hypnosis, pairs up with Joona, and they both get involved in the investigation. Unfortunately, Erik is feeling guilt due to some evidence he withheld years before which led to the conviction of an innocent man, and this series of murders is directly affected by what he did long ago.

As with the other novels in this series, the characters are extremely well-developed and readers who have read the previous novels are familiar with them. Joona Linna is one of the most unique characters in modern fiction, and he solves the crimes in unexpected ways. He doesn’t always follow rules and laws, and he isn’t particularly liked by others in law enforcement, especially due to the fact that he has the best solve record of any detective. He is, of course, no longer a detective, so doesn’t have authority, but finds ways to get what he wants anyway. During his absence, he has let himself get into very poor health, and Erik is trying to heal him; this serves as a hindrance to the investigation, and the murders continue.

The writing in these novels is excellent; the authors know how to tell a story and keep readers on the edge of their seats. There is building suspense throughout. The protagonist doesn’t always end up like readers would like, and that is certainly the case in this novel. Don’t expect favorite characters to live “happily ever after.”

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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