The Sandman

A young man is walking across a bridge at night. An innocuous image, until the man is revealed as being covered in blood--and having been declared legally dead seven years earlier. This is how Lars Kepler's The Sandman begins, and it's almost impossible to stop reading after that.

The fourth installment in the Swedish series (after The Fire Witness) is personal for Detective Superintendent Joona Linna, as readers find out more about what happened to Linna's wife and child. Years earlier, Linna and his partner, Samuel Mendel, locked up sadistic killer Jurek Walter, aka the Sandman. But Walter swore tragedy would befall Mendel and his family, and the promise came true. Linna lost his own family soon after, and the Sandman's other targets kept disappearing, despite Walter's incarceration.

The young man on the bridge turns out to be an escaped victim named Mikael, kidnapped 13 years earlier. His sister remains a prisoner, but he's in such poor physical and mental condition, Mikael can't reveal much about where they were held. Linna takes desperate measures--including asking his colleague Saga Bauer to go on a life-risking undercover mission--to rescue the sister before she's killed, and must once again confront his most terrifying enemy.

Like Walter, Lars Kepler--pseudonym for husband and wife Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril--knows how to ensnare targets and make them lose time. Thriller fans will find it hard to escape The Sandman's spell, for the suspense is unrelenting and the bite-size chapters end on cliffhangers. But unlike the villain, who makes victims go to sleep, his namesake novel will keep readers up all night. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

Powered by: Xtenit