2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: The Sandman by Lars Kepler

I read this one first in the Joona Linna series. I wrote the review earlier than any of the others, which is why if you follow my reviews some of it will seem odd – it was written last year but somehow never got posted… So in the interest of giving you as many reviews of this incredible series as possible, I’ve squeezed it in. Apologies for any continuity issues!

This was an INCREDIBLE find, and I’m so happy that I didn’t know that it was book four in a series going in, or I’d never have requested it… (I hate reading series books out of order as a rule.) When I was getting ready to read this one (which intrigued me immensely with its blurb, title, and cover art), I looked it up on GoodReads – there I saw a number of comments about it being the (at least theoretical) last book in the Joona Linna series, and almost immediately didn’t open it. Reading series books out of order is bad enough; reading the final book in a series when you haven’t read any of the others is usually a non-starter, since all the loose ends are usually being tied up at that point and it’s tough to make the story stand alone.

Having not read any of the earlier books, I can’t tell you anything about loose ends. I can, however, tell you that I never once felt lost or behind the eight ball when reading this one. It’s possible (and likely) that I would have found the read to be richer if I’d known backstory – but it’s honestly hard to imagine that the story could have been better for it, because I absolutely LOVED this book…

The characters are immensely compelling, the plot was intricate and sinuous and fascinating to watch develop. There was darkness inside of nearly every character – a roiling, living darkness that varied in degree and complexity but made everyone all the more intriguing for it. The writing was deft and taut and kept me furiously flipping pages to see what would come next. This is not a book for the faint of heart – in my experience, most Swedish thriller fiction is not. But it is an incredible thrill ride of a tale, and I am now dying to get through my review backlog so I can dig in to the first three books in this series!

My review copy was provided by the Penguin First to Read program.

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2 comments to Book Review: The Sandman by Lars Kepler

  • Great review. I will look into this series and probably get it after my own backlog of books waiting to be read.

    • admin

      Thanks Diane – it is an extraordinary series. It’s tough to read at times – it’s a pretty brutal world – but the writing and characters are so incredibly strong…. I hear you on a backlog – believe me! – but these are definitely worth a boost on the TBR list! Thanks for the comment and stopping by!!

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