cover image The Mirror Man: A Killer Instinct Novel

The Mirror Man: A Killer Instinct Novel

Lars Kepler, trans. from the Swedish by Alice Menzies. Knopf, $28.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-5933-2102-7

In Kepler’s stellar eighth Killer Instinct novel (after 2020’s Lazarus), Joona Linna, a detective with Sweden’s National Operations Unit, looks into the case of a woman found hanged in a Stockholm playground. Her killer attached a winch to a jungle gym before slipping a wire noose around her neck. The discovery that the victim is Jenny Lind, who vanished five years earlier when she was a 16-year-old, adds additional mysteries—her whereabouts since her disappearance and why her captor decided to kill her now. Unfortunately, the one witness who may have seen the murder while walking his dog in the middle of the night suffers from memory lapses following an ice-fishing accident in which his daughter died years earlier. Linna comes to believe Lind was murdered by a serial killer, who may have more women in captivity. The ability of Kepler (the pen name of Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril) to ratchet up the tension en route to a stunning reveal and an eminently fair solution is remarkable. This merits comparisons with the best of Thomas Harris. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Jan.)