Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Lazarus – Lars Kepler

38208505.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A dead man is found in an apartment in Oslo. The victim transpires to be an unknown grave defiler and trophy collector, and when the police open his kitchen freezer, they make a terrible discovery. A few days later, Joona Linna is contacted by a German police detective who asks for his help with a murder outside Rostock. Joona understands that the pattern he’s starting to see is insane, but at the same time it’s impossible to ignore.

Some would call it a miracle if someone returned from the dead – others would call it a nightmare.

The master of thrillers, Lars Kepler, is back with the seventh installment in the Joona Linna series.

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My thoughts: Lazarus has not yet been translated to English but Lars Kepler and the series about Joona Linna is highly popular. That’s why I do not think it will be long before it have been translated. Just be patience. 🙂

The 7th book about the Swedish/Finish cop Joona Linna is finally here. I have been waiting for this one since June. Joona is finally back and trying to take control over his life. There is finally some good things happening when it all comes crashing down and burns. Surprised? No. Did I foresee it? Yes. Was it in the way I though? Well, pretty much. It is bloody and violent, certainly not a book for sensitive readers and highly predictable. At least in my opinion. I feel that Kepler did not take the story where it should have gone. Just chewed on what they already have and spit it out. The same but in a new form. Highly disappointing.

I found it quite boring that Kepler still going on with the same plot-line. It’s mediocre, overrated and even flamboyant at times. The Ahndorils aka Keplers need to learn when to stop. And that time was two books ago. Don’t do what I’m thinking you will do with that end you left us with. It is not interesting and I do not want it. Try something new. We are soon in 2019 you know. Not 2011.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Devil’s star – Jo Nesbø

25214258.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil’s star.

Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.

A wave of similar murders is on the horizon. An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, and the five-pointed devil’s star is key to solving the riddle.

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My thoughts: Another excellent, complex thriller from the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. As I probably said before, I was not a big fan of his two first books about Harry Hole. I absolutely loved the third and the fourth was a little mediocre. Now this. This is the book I would refer to when talking about Jo finding his “sound”, his writing style. I found it meticulously and selective in its plot, yet exciting and full of suspense. The alcoholism story is a lot bigger than in the earlier books. A lot more raw, emotional and there is sometimes you wonder if Jo is writing from a personal experience. That is how vivid and sentimental I found it.

Harry Hole is an character I can’t decide if I love or hate. He’s a loner, he’s prickly, he drinks. He does not like authority, yet he is a cop. He’s a broken man who for some reason never gives up even though he certainly tries. He can’t keep a normal relationship with anyone, he has almost no friends and he is down in the deep, trying to drink his sorrows away that you can’t help but wonder, where is this going to end.

Besides all that, it is a good book. I do love a good serial-killer plot even though I did find it was more of a side plot to the story than the actual main story-line. In fact in the mist of it all, there is dark secrets finally surfacing to the light. Even though I did not find the end as satisfying as I would like, it is certainly the perfect end if the series would stop here. I do however know that there is 6 more books about Harry Hole and the great thing is that you do not know where Jo will take us. It is impossible to foresee and he is that unpredictable.

Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The rabbit hunter – Lars Kepler

36448430.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: It begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later you die…

The sixth gripping thriller in Lars Kepler’s bestselling series featuring Joona Linna. Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

There’s a face at the window.
A stranger wearing a mask stands in the shadow of a garden. He’s watching his first victim through the window. He will kill him slowly, make it last – play him a nursery rhyme – make him pay.

A killer in your house.
There’s only one person the police can turn to – ex-Detective Joona Linna – but he’s serving time in a high-security prison. So they offer him a chance to secure his freedom: help superintendent Saga Bauer track down the vicious killer known as The Rabbit Hunter, before he strikes again.

Only one man can stop him.
Soon another three victims have been murdered and Stockholm is in the grip of terror. Joona Linna must catch a disturbed predator, whose trail of destruction leads back to one horrific night of violence – with consequences more terrifying than anyone could have imagined…

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My thoughts: Joona Linna is back in one more of those intense and thrilling books where he is hunting a cold blooded killer out of the ordinary! Old secrets, new promises and a rabbit hunter is what he tries to unravel. And even though I really liked it and I like all the characters, I find that I don’t like this book as much as the others. The reason for that is probably that the whole police investigation alignment is not as prominent as usual and the side characters in the mystery has a much bigger part. It made the old characters fall a little flat and I missed them.

I wouldn’t say that it is a bad book but it is the weakest one in the series in my opinion. It is a little too long and slow in the middle. Some stuff didn’t make sense since the details were not fulfilling but I don’t think they were important for the plot itself so I can ignore it. It still has the same psychological depth, uncomfortable detailed descriptions as always which makes it easy to imagine what is happening and it is certainly terrifying. I did like the history and the old secrets twist but however I did not like the ending. It was a bit confusing but I hope I will get my answers in October when the 7th book in the series has release in Sweden. Will probably be some months before it has a release on English though.

This is the 6th one in the series and they really should be read in order. So you know. I think I have told you that before but one time to many can’t hurt.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Stalker – Lars Kepler

22554261| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The police receive a video clip of a woman in a window and reason that someone must have been standing in the garden just outside her house to be able to film her. The next day the woman is found dead in her home, the vicious violence of the scene shocks even the most seasoned investigators. A few days later, another clip is sent anonymously to the police, but there’s no way of identifying the woman before she too falls victim to a brutal attack. When he finds her, the woman’s husband is so traumatized by the violent scene that, in a state of panic, he starts cleaning the house. He even washes the blood from his wife’s body and puts her to bed, as if nothing is the matter. He may have seen a vital clue but is in such an extreme state of shock, and seems to be suffering from short-term memory loss that the police cannot usefully question him. Criminal psychiatrist and hypnotist Erik Maria Bark is called in hypnotize the man in order to unlock his memories of the murder scene. But what Dr Bark uncovers in his sessions with the dead woman’s husband make him decide to lie to the police.

It becomes clear that the case cannot be solved without the help of Detective Joona Linna, the man who’s been missing for more than a year and has been presumed dead.

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My thoughts: Lars Kepler, the married duo who writes under that name, has done it again. With Stalker we yet again meet Joona Linna and all the loose threads from the earlier books are finally tied together. Even though the series is about Joona Linna, he has a lot smaller part in this book than usual. Here it is Erik Maria Bark who stands in the headlight and the character you get to follow the most. He is awesome and I have always liked him so it was great to get to know him even more.

I really like the stalker plot where as a woman, it even was a little frighting for me and with its graphic content, gave me the chills.  I found it somewhat of a paranoid thriller and I’m happy that I don’t live on the first floor (even though I curse those stairs everyday). And I Still checked my windows and doors a little extra, just in case. Not that I’m in any danger of being stalked, but it just felt better you know. Funny how books can have such  big impact on the everyday life. Anyway, I liked the plot and it is well written as always. I wouldn’t say that Stalker is my favorite in the series but it isn’t the worst either.

There is a lot of plot twists and one was really surprising and I did not see that coming. I should have and I kick myself for not doing that and it is great work by Kepler to fool me. I’m not easily fooled. Just saying! And this series is not a stand alone and you should read them in order, just to really understand some huge things that are not deeply explained.

A solid thriller with a solid and somewhat frightening plot and I give it four stars. Loses a star because it is a little too long. With almost 700 pages I felt somethings could have been edited out to make the flow more smoothly. And there is a lot of characters and even though I’m Swedish and doesn’t have a problem with the names, I still forgot sometime who was who.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

Nemesis – Jo Nesbø

3522419.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: How do you catch a killer when you’re the number one suspect?

A man is caught on CCTV, shooting dead a cashier at a bank. Detective Harry Hole begins his investigation, but after dinner with an old flame wakes up with no memory of the past 12 hours. Then the girl is found dead in mysterious circumstances and he beings to receive threatening emails: is someone trying to frame him for her death?

As Harry fights to clear his name, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery…

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My thoughts: I’m not a big fan of this “someone is trying to frame someone, fight against the clock” type of plots. I find them long, irritating and exhausting. There is always some idiot who do not believe the truth even if it knocks you on the head and they are always so close to capture or kill the main character (who is getting framed) and if he gets captured, he is so wrongfully treated and when the truth comes out, they are all friends and happy family again. It is just so predictable and cliche. That’s why, at first, I didn’t want to read the book. I know that I usually don’t like that kind of plots and I get more irritated, than enjoy it. But I had to! The book is fourth in a series that cannot be read as standalone’s and I did want to know what would happen after that “cliffhanger” from the third book.

So in this book we get to follow when someone is trying to frame Harry for the murder of an old girlfriend to him. He had dinner with her the night before she was discovered dead and he can’t remember what happened or how he got home. At the same time he works a case where a robber is active and is responsible for at least one death. Together with the wonder child Beate Lønn, they try to find the truth. And all Harry actually want to do, is working on that case he can’t let go.

The book is dark and I feel that Harry is a little darker this time, than earlier books. But at the same time he is really trying to take control of his life and make things right. And it is hard for me not to feel for him, even though I do not like him that much. He is a hard character to like. I do love this new character Beate and hope that I will be meeting her again. There is a lot of male characters and we do need more women I think. Specially since Harry seems prefer working with female colleagues, than male ones.

Had some small issues with the writing this time to. Jo have written it with brakes in the stories that makes me a little confused if it is memories, dreams, does it happen real time or not happening at all.

I‘m glad to be done with the book. It was not my favorite but also not the worst of those I have read.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Sandman – Lars Kepler

35805854| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier, he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman. Years ago, Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek’s capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael’s sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a twenty-seven-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it’s too late–and before he gets inside her head.

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My thoughts: Oh the plot thickens around Joona Linna. The ruggish, Finland/Swedish cop in a Harry Bosch, Harry Hole and Jack Reacher spirit.

The Lars Kepler couple (they are a married couple who writhes under that name, if you did’t know that) are geniuses. This is dark and twisted. It gives you the creeps and nothing feels okay. It seeps into your dreams at night and until you have read that one last page, you have this bad, tingling feeling. That is how well written these books really are. They embraces you, hides you and sucks you in and won’t let you go.

If you like authors like Jo Nesbø, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci,  Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell and so on, you will probably love Lars Kepler. Their story about Joona Linna is just so great and vivid and this series is always one I recommend when people asks.

This is the fourth book about Joona. Dark secrets from the past is revealed, Saga is getting a bigger part and really bad stuff is happening. It is sad, terrifying and oh, I cried at the end. The plot is really good and well thought out. It all feels realistic and true.

I will definitely continue this series.- That is how good it is.

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Sports/Games

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

33413128| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

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My thoughts: This was one hard book to read. It was a lot darker than first expected and was certainly not what you would expect from Backman. He has changed his tone and the seriousness of it is mindblowing. And the worst part is, I know this from real life experience. I know how it is to grow up in a town that is dying. I know how it is to live so far north that in a year, you have more dark days than light days. Where snow is more than a way of life. It comes a part of you. When I moved south, I did miss all that snow, but life was just so much more simpler without it being so much of it. And I still do not live far enough south to get no snow at all. The difference is that where I come from, it’s not Hockey that is the big sport everyone love. Where I come from there is two type of “family’s”. Those who ski some way or another. Or those who hunt. I’m from a hunting family. That’s what we do. Live for. Talk about. And plan to do next season. Sometime I miss it, but in reality I’m more of a city girl with one booted foot in the woods and one foot in a 6 inch high heel outside the city’s IT club. When I don’t read of course. And I like it just like that. The best of two worlds. But I do understand that mindset from a small community. We take care of our own. We offer coffee or beer instead of asking how you are. I do not always agree, but I do understand.

Even though the book could be described as hard, cold, dark and so Swedish that it is incredible Backman has been able to put it into words. But still the book is warm, fuzzy and lovable. Some parts of it I had to seek comfort in the arms of my man. I wouldn’t be able to read more if not. I have few triggers when it comes to books but one of them is in this book and even tough it is not that graphic, a girl/woman do understand without not being in that situation herself. And it is heavy. Maybe more heavy for me this time than what it would have been if I didn’t recognize the characters as people I grown up with. Backman understands. He is Swedish to. Other parts I feel that the book is awesome and even some parts a little funny. The seriousness of it all takes a big toll of it tough.

The writing is as always, fantastic. Backman has a great ability to put worlds, characters, minds, feelings and his own soul  between the lines in his books. You can just feel him and it is a wonderful experience. One I do not often get to feel when reading books. Often when I give a book a top star rating, it is more for the story itself. This one it is more for the meaning of the story and what it leaves me with when done. It is impossible to explain.

I do however miss Backmans funny, easy-going, fuzzy heartwarming way of writing his books. This one is just a little too dark and it will take me sometime before I’m ready to read the second book in the series. I will someday, but right now my soul is just not ready for that kind of hit. Soul-wrenching. That’s a word I would describe this book with. Soul-wrenching!

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The fire witness – Lars Kepler

16085509| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Detective Inspector Joona Linna, under internal review by the National Police for an alleged infraction, is on leave to solve some troubling personal business when he is called in to “observe” the investigation of a gruesome and strange murder at Birgittagarden, a youth home for wayward teenage girls. But it’s not long before Linna is drawn deeply into the intricate, disturbing case. Intriguing, astonishing, and with all of the suspense that first captured audiences in The Hypnotist, The Fire Witness is Lars Kepler at his most psychologically complex and thrilling.

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My thoughts: The third book about the Swedish/Finish Cop Joona Linna. He is a ruff character with an immensely good moral compass and somewhat of an enigma. But in this book, you finally are starting to get some answers to who Linna really is and why he is and do as he does. However, you do sit in the end of the book, with a ton of questions but there are more books in the series so I’m pretty sure I will get my answers someday. The book do not end on a cliffhanger however, for those who are like me and don’t like that.

The books story is just great. Joona Linna is under internal review due to some stuff that happened in the second book. But since he is that good guy that he is, he breaks the rules to save a kid after getting called in to “observe” a crime scene at a youth home, where a young girl and the homes nightwatchman has been killed, and another girl is missing. Not only that but he has some personal issues to resolve and it makes the suspense a lot more intense. And not only that. A psychic comes in and stir the pot even more. And I just say, wow!

Lars Kepler is really not a person but an pseudonym for the married couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril. Yeah I think they did the right thing with one name since theirs are so alike. I love their way of writing and how they succeed to include the readers in the story in a way I don’t feel many Swedish authors are able to do. Scandinavian litterateur is not one of my favorites but I try to broaden my view to also close authors. Not just authors from the other side of the glob.

I do have to warn you that this series is not an standalone series and I do recommend that you start with the first book if you are interested. But it is total worth it.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Redbreast – Jo Nesbø

465226| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.

1999: Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

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My thoughts: I read the first two books in the series about Harry Hole in 2013 and 2014. They where not my favorites and I gave them both a two star rating. They did just not do it for me for several reasons. If it was not for that I bought the three first book at the same time and already had the book in my shelf, AND I have this 30 Books Before 30 list, I would probably not have read the third book. But now I’m so happy that I did. Because this was great. A five star rating, terrific, nail biting and heart wrenching great.

The story is awesome with the time jumps back to second world war and some of the people there. And Jo have done great work to make the history and past woven together with the present. You get a lot of clues trough out the book and, maybe I’m just stupid. but I could not for my life figure it all out hand how it all hanged together. I had my theories. In the end I did get a clear picture and felt really satisfied by that.

However, there is one “teeny tiny” event that did not get its rightful closure and that kind of stuff usually pisses me off. But, there is several more books in the series and I hope that in the future we will get full closure on it so I’m okay. And I as a reader do know the truth.