Wednesday 20 February 2019

Down a Scandi rabbit hole, chasing the Rabbit Hunter

Crime: The Rabbit, Hunter, Lars Kepler, HarperCollins €14.87

The Rabbit Hunter
The Rabbit Hunter

Breda Brown

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for Swedish husband and wife writing team Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril. Their latest novel, The Rabbit Hunter, is the sixth in a series of best-selling thrillers featuring Detective Superintendent Joona Linna.

The previous five books have sold over 10m copies in 20 countries, and critics cite the authors as natural successors to Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

This latest outing is set in contemporary Sweden and kicks off when the Swedish Foreign Minister is killed in mysterious circumstances. The Security Police, an elite and secretive force run by the state, is called in to mop up the mess and figure out what happened.

The elite institutional force finds it difficult to unravel the mystery, and so they turn of course to Joona Linna - the highly skilled crime investigator who has a brilliant track record for solving complicated murder cases. The only problem is that Linna is currently serving time in a high security prison.

They decide to offer Linna a deal - if he can track down the vicious killer, nicknamed The Rabbit Hunter, they will reward him by releasing him.

When three more victims fall prey to the killer, and fear grips the streets of Stockholm, Linna has to act fast. The only connection between the victims is that they all hear a child chanting a nursery rhyme about rabbits and exactly 19 minutes later, they are brutally murdered.

As Linna works his way through the evidence, he finds that everything seems to lead back to one horrific night of violence that happened 30 years ago, and it seems the killer is now hunting down the people who were there and assassinating them in the most sadistic manner possible.

The Rabbit Hunter will stop at nothing until all of his targets are dead.

Slow to take off, due to a lot of unnecessary and irrelevant padding, this thriller picks up its pace and hurtles like a rocket towards the terrifying, and extremely violent, end. Translated from the original Swedish, it can be a clunky, clinical read at times.

Sunday Independent

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