Friday, 24 November 2017

Book Review: Stalker by Lars Kepler

If the lights are on, a stalker can see you from outside. But if the lights are off, you can't see a stalker who is already inside the house.

A video-clip is sent to the National Criminal Investigation Department. Someone has secretly filmed a woman through her window from the garden. The next day she is found dead after a frenzied knife-attack. 

The police receive a second film of another unknown woman. There is no way of identifying her before time runs out. When her husband finds her, he is so traumatised that he cleans the whole house and puts her to bed. He may have seen a vital clue, but is in such an extreme state of shock that the police are unable to question him.

Psychiatrist Erik Maria Bark is called in to hypnotise him - but what the man tells him under hypnosis leads Erik to start lying to the police.

I seem to have developed something of a habit for reading books out of sequence. As I read through Stalker, by Lars Kepler, I found many references to Erik Maria Bark's past that made little sense to me. For example, why had he sworn never to practice hypnosis again? At first I thought this was a poorly written novel, with references to a backstory that the reader didn't know. But in doing my research for this book review, I came to realise that Stalker is in fact the fifth book in Lars Kepler's Joona Linna series. So, that explains a lot. 

After reading Stalker, and finding out it was part of a series, I was inspired to read the first book in the series, The Hypnotist. And after reading The Hypnotist? Suffice it to say, I'll be going on to read the remaining three books in the series, and any others Lars Kepler publishes in the future. 

Lars Kepler is a fantastic horror/thriller writer. He holds his reader in suspense throughout, no easy feat considering his novels come in at around 500/600 pages! Although I find his novels a little on the gory side, they never become too gruesome, and all the gore lends to the horror of his stories. His characters, Joona Linna and Erik Maria Bark in particular, are likeable, and you can't help but root for them. He also reveals their backstory in little snippets, so you're always left wanting more, and feeling grateful when he reveals something new! 

I'm now a huge fan of Lars Keplar. I would put him on a par with Stieg Larsson, although Lars writes more horror/thriller than crime/espionage fiction. If you're a fan of gruesome, suspenseful horror novels then Lars Keplar is a pretty safe bet. I've recommended, and lent out the two books of his I own to friends and family; all of whom have nothing but praise for the novels! So I think that says it all, really

Rating: ****

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