Book Review: The Man Who Watched Women by Michael Hjorth *****

UK Publication Date: 19 Nov 2015. 528 pages.

The Man Who Watched Women has got a feel of Scandi-Noir about it and if you liked The Killing or the Stieg Larsson books then you will surely enjoy this, the second in the Sebastian Bergman series. I hadn’t read the first book and that may be why it took me a little longer than I thought to get to grips with the characters and their intricacies but once you‘ve got the Who’s Who straight in your head it makes for a riveting read.

It is a fairly beefy 528 pages but that seems inconsequential about 150 pages in. By that time I’d got used to the names and locations and things were starting to piece together.

A woman has been murdered in what looks like a copycat ritualistic fashion. It bears all the hallmarks of Hinde, a convicted and incarcerated serial killer. Sweden’s own version of Hannibal Lecter but with Marie biscuits and fizzy pop instead of fava beans and Chianti!

The Riksmord team have no clues and nothing to go on and before they know it there are three more women dead. All trussed and dressed in the same fashion. Reluctantly Riksmord agree to bring in Sebastian Bergman as a consultant. Sweden’s premier authority on serial killers, he was involved in securing the convictions for Hinde the first time around. He’s a cold anti-social person that no-one is particularly pleased to see back.

The book is dark and quite graphic, in stark contrast to the warm sunshine and long sunlit days of a Swedish Midsummer. The characters are complicated and largely the product of earlier personal tragedies. Many of them have no redeeming features. But you still keep reading. The plot draws you in, deeper and deeper.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I’ll be actively searching out the first in the series to see what I missed out on.

Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You can find the book here: The Man Who Watched Women

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