Someone is watching.
At each abandoned crime scene there’s a hidden clue: a tiny metal cog, almost invisible to the naked eye. Someone is sending Detective Sam Berger a message, and that someone knows that only he will understand the cryptic trail.
When another teenaged girl disappears without trace, Sam must convince his superiors that they’re dealing with a serial kidnapper and possible killer. As the police continue the hunt to find the latest kidnap victim, Sam is forced to unearth long buried personal demons – he has no choice if he is to understand the brute’s darkly personal message before time runs out.
Somebody is killing just for him.
This is one of those rare books that grabs your attention from the very first page by including the most nail-biting scene I have ever read as the opening scene. It was so, so, so intense and had me on the very edge of my seat, my eyes wide open as I devoured page after page. I was really intrigued by this opening and eager to delve further into the story! I could tell straight away how incredibly talented Arne Dahl was because I felt really uneasy reading this. He went into a lot of detail and it was easy to picture the scene in my mind and feel as uneasy as the characters did. A great start to the story so far!
What drew me into this story was the synopsis because it painted the picture of a really intense book and it didn’t fail to deliver that. It was intense and a little bit creepy at times as Detective Sam Berger comes across horror after horror in his race to find the missing teenage girls. It has lots of creative twists and fast-paced scenes but then what let it down in some parts was the overload of dialogue between characters. At one point, during an interrogation, they are just talking and talking and talking. I would have liked more action or for it to have been cut down a bit.
Like I said though, there are a lot of twists I didn’t see coming and they did surprise me. Half the time I didn’t have a clue what was going on but that’s good because I like to be kept in the dark when I’m reading crime thrillers. It’s boring if you know what’s going on because then you have no shocking or surprising twists you weren’t expecting. Whenever I tried to guess I found I was way off and I would never have guessed what was coming. It was very creative and I can tell a lot of thought went into this story. A lot of it all links together and it involves a shared past between two of the main characters.
I really liked Sam because he was a really flawed main character. I’m a sucker for flawed main characters just because they are so fascinating and I love reading about their inner demons. Sam was hiding away a dark past that slowly began to unravel as the story went on. We got to see more and more of his past and how it gave him a deeper understanding of the case that others wouldn’t be able to see unless they shared his past. One character, Molly, does share this past with him and they are both haunted by it. But they are forced to face it head on and work with their personal demons to solve the case. They worked really well together and are two very likeable characters. I liked how they put aside their differences and worked together to find the kidnapper because they had two different personalities and strengths that actually went really well together. They clashed at times but they worked through it and remained focused on finding the missing girls. I liked how the past played such a crucial role in this story. It made for a really gruesome and twisted story and I couldn’t help pitying the villain of the story as he had a horribly tragic past like all villains do.
Towards the end I did start losing a little bit of interest just because I felt the story had been dragged on for a long time and it took quite a bit for the story to be wrapped up at the end only to be left on one of the most staggering cliffhangers ever. I thought this was a standalone but now I am hoping it isn’t because I NEED to know what happens next for the characters.
Despite the parts where I lost interest, I would still recommend this to anyone who loves crime thrillers because it was quite a chilling story with very intense and scary scenes. I struggled to put it down and I could feel my heart racing with excitement as I was reading it. I will definitely be checking out his other books soon!