cover image The Chestnut Man

The Chestnut Man

Søren Sveistrup, trans. from the Danish by Caroline Waight. Harper, $28.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-06-289536-3

Sveistrup, creator and writer of the TV series The Killing, makes his stellar debut with this classy procedural, a revenge saga played out in present-day Copenhagen by characters—both police and villains—excruciatingly true to life. By-the-book detective Naia Thulin hopes for advancement to the national cybercrime center, but she currently works under the opportunistic head of Copenhagen’s Major Crimes Division. As a horrifying serial mutilation-murder wave begins, she’s saddled with seedy, authority-scorning Mark Hess as her temporary partner. Almost immediately, forensic evidence links the killer, who leaves a spooky doll made of chestnuts by each of his victims, to the year-old cold case of Minister of Social Affairs Rosa Hartung’s 12-year-old daughter, kidnapped and presumed dead. With rapid-fire cinematic cuts from one brutal scene after another, Sveistrup illuminates the complexities of urban police work amid abundant inefficiencies, a plethora of red herrings, and government corruption. This one cries out for a sequel—and a film adaptation. [em]Agent: Sofie Voller, Politiken Literary Agency. (Sept.) [/em]