The Chestnut Man was sold to me as being the thriller of the year. The premise hooked me, women are being viciously murdered and the only clue is the chestnut men that is being left at the scene of the crime. Told from different perspectives we follow the detectives and others that are connected to the murders in one way or another. The first 100 pages were very entertaining to me and there were definitely moments where I was completely hooked. However, after that this book derailed for me. While there were moments again where I was hooked, those were fleeting. To me the main issue is that this book is over 500 pages long and it should be about 200 pages shorter. There are so many things that were not needed and/or over explained. The other main issue is that while I did not dislike the characters, I never connected with any of them. In a mystery or thriller I want to feel something for a least one of the main characters involved and this had zero people in it that I was invested in. When the ending happened it occurred over about 75 pages, which just illustrates that this needed to be cut down. There are so many other thrillers that were written this year that were so much better. Do not waste your time on this drudge of a book. I am going to give it two stars but I might change it to 1 star in a couple of weeks if I still feel so strongly about it.
I knew it wasn't going to ever be bad or disappointing, considering the writer also created the Danish show The Killing (I don't know what the Danish name is sue me). It was a really nice fall/early winter crime thriller read. Well paced, intriguing plot line and mystery, the characters for the most part felt well fleshed out (even if they were a bit trope-y). Overall, I very much enjoyed it. One big plus for me is how the reveal played out and how much it made sense with the storyline and the foreshadowing that was written in earlier in the book. Often I find books of this genre try too hard to circumvent people's expectations to the point where it ends up making no sense at all in the end, but this did not do that and I am grateful. I'm glad that I impulsively bought this.
Graphic: Gore and Torture
Minor: Sexual violence
Moderate: Child abuse, Child death, Confinement, and Domestic abuse
Graphic: Blood, Child abuse, Death, Kidnapping, Misogyny , Pedophilia, Physical abuse, Sexism, and Violence
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