Reviews · Thriller & Suspense

Review: The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

Okay fellow book bloggers, let’s chat about DNFs. I have always been one of those people that, once I commit, I commit hard. No matter how much I am struggling with a book, I am determined to finish it. Reading that bit back, I know that sounds ridiculous. There are too many wonderful books in the world to waste time and those I don’t enjoy, right? What’s your take on DNFs? Are you all for putting it down and moving on to your next TBR title, or are you committed until the end?Nightmare

Even when I was about a fourth through this book, I thought this may be Bibliophile’s Binge’s first DNF review. I was struggling to get into the story and the characters–and there were so many of them! Told in a split-narrative, The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (who, fun fact, is actually a husband-wife duo!), starts with two deaths: the apparent suicide of a government official; and a suspicious drowning of a young woman, who was found on an abandoned yacht. The story jumps between several different characters, many of whom are seeming unrelated, but focuses quite a bit on Joona Linna, one of the main detectives working both cases. Ultimately, readers are swept up into quite a scandal–with multiple murders, a strange man hunting a couple through the winds, an international arms agreement, and a wildly talented musician who hasn’t touched his violin in 30 years. Linna, and other detectives and related agencies, work to unravel this complicated and devious case before another life is taken.

Like I mentioned, it took me awhile to get into this book. There are so many different characters with different (and seemingly unrelated) stories, that it was hard to keep jumping back and forth between storylines that just seemed whatever to the storylines I really wanted to know more about. However, once the pieces starting coming together, I finished the last half of the book in the span of one afternoon! With 560 pages, The Nightmare is a bit longer than most of my normal reads and maybe that was one of the reasons I was reluctant to dive in? Due to its length, it certainly moves quite a bit slower than the usual psychological thrillers I read. Additionally, once the story and crime had been figured out, there just seemed like so much of the book left. To be fair, it was all heavy action and not necessarily wrapping up all the characters’ stories in long and complicated way, which would have been even worse. I guess I’m just used to those psychological thrillers that start with a bang and, once everything unravels, the story wraps up shortly after.

The Nightmare is actually the second of a series surrounding Detective Joona Linna–which I definitely failed to realized when I received the eARC from NetGalley. Thankfully, it seems to be one of those crime series that doesn’t necessarily require you to read them in order. However, a little bit in the end definitely set up for further books in the series. While this series, which currently is made of seven books, began almost ten years ago (!!!) in Sweden (I believe), a new english version is being released in September of this year!

Ultimately, I think I’ll stick to my shorter reads, with way less characters, but if you are a crime/detective junkie this book (and maybe this series!) may be right up your alley!

Rating: 3/5

Best binged with: a hot toddy–to warm you up in more ways than one! 

[I received a digital, advanced reading copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.]


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