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Mystery Books - Lars Kepler - Stalker - A Joona Linna Thriller

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Stalker -A Joona Linna Thriller
Lars Kepler
McLelland & Stewart 2016
523 pages

 

Those who enjoy nordic noir mysteries will find the fifth installment of the Joona Linna series by Lars Kepler to be a good read. The good thing is you do not have to be familiar with the previous four books in the series to appreciate Stalker though I am sure it makes figuring out who's who a lot easier. Being unfamiliar with the series,  I enjoyed Stalker but got a bit lost in the many secondary and tertiary characters and that even if I make a who's who list on the back pages.

If, however, you like whodunits that take place in nordic countries because you also get a bit of culture and like the unfamiliarity of the setting, you might be a bit disappointed. Stalker takes place in Sweden and is centered in Stockholm but there is something a bit too Anytown, Europe for its own good.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Detective Joona Linna died in a previous novel. Detective Margo Silverman who is very much pregnant and continues to be very much pregnant throughout the story  receives a video made from outside a woman's window. This is the second such video. The first one has been connected to the murder of another woman. The videos and murders escalate while Silverman tries to figure out the motive and the killer.

She is helped in this by psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark. Some ten years ago, Bark's testimony sent a pastor named Rocky Kyrklund to a psychiatric prison for a murder similar to those now taking place. Kyrklund sometimes says he is not guilty. Bark himself then comes under strong suspicion.

Considering this thriller is billed as a Joona Linna thriller, it is not a a spoiler to reveal the detective gets involved in the case, even if he died in a previous book.

Stalker is a good read. The reveal is good but the reader is given enough information beforehand to make it possible to figure it out for yourself. Still, Stalker will most probably make those unfamiliar with the series want to get the back catalogue.


Richard Lanoie

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