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The Chestnut Man

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  7,438 ratings  ·  1,437 reviews

The police make a terrible discovery in a suburb of Copenhagen. A young woman has been killed and dumped at a playground. One of her hands has been cut off, and above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Young detective Naia Thulin is assigned the case. Her partner is Mark Hess, a burned-out investigator who's just been kicked out of Europol's headquarters in The Hague. They soon dischestnuts.


Kindle Edition, 491 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by Penguin (first published June 6th 2018)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,438 ratings  ·  1,437 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Omg! I had to get this because I loved the show "The Killing" (need to read those books) LOOK AT THE STAINED EDGES & it's signed and numbered!

This book was pretty awesome and freaky!!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
A grizzly debut that will NOT having you dreaming of chestnuts roasting on an open fire anytime soon. I'd rather have Jack frost nipping at my nose instead thank you very much! This debut novel details a police investigation into the murders of mothers who have had various allegations of neglect and abuse filed against them. The murders are violent and gruesome. He likes to take a hand here, a foot there...but he is a giver also - his gift or calling card, if you will, is a chestnut man made out ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sooooo ready to give five Danish, thrilling, chilling, darkest, mind numbing stars to this book as a die-hard fan of Danish series “Forbrydelsen” (American version is “Killing” but in my opinion Danish version beats the hell of US version because of the atmosphere, sensational, smart, darker crime thriller elements and far better casting performances: I always prefer Sarah Lund over Sarah Linden!)

But now I’m barely rounding up 3.5 to 4 stars just because of the impressive, rive
Sumit RK
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the leaves fall, He's coming for you. . .

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup is a dark & gritty thriller and an excellent debut from the creator of the hit television show The Killing. With a brilliant storyline, tense atmosphere and some great characters, this is one of the best crime novels I have read in a long time.

Set in Denmark, a psychotic serial killer is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which h
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Whoa...this book was so dark, brutal, gory...fantastic...

I have been wanting to get ahold of this book for a loooong time. I finally got lucky enough to get a copy. I must admit I was a bit intimidated when I discovered it was over 500 pages and that it was a police procedural. Trust me, none of that matters. The chapters were short and I flew through them. I found the tension building as I raced through them. I am not a fan of police procedurals but this had such a intriguing blurb
Serial killer fiction is one of my favorite subgenres, despite the fact that very few of these books reach a level of exceptional storytelling. But when it's done right, there's no better read for me.

Unfortunately, The Chestnut Man isn't done right.

I often feel as if there is some outline for writers of the genre entitled "How to Write the Typical Cliché Serial Killer Novel" of which they all follow and for some reason that's enough for the masses.

That's not e
Soren Sveistrup is the man behind the runaway successful Danish TV series, The Killing, he has now turned his attention to writing his first Scandi-Noir novel set in Copenhagen. The Chestnut Man carries trademark elements of The Killing, it is part police procedural, part psychological thriller, incorporating politicians whilst giving us social realism in its portrayals and insights into the lives of its diverse range of characters that inhabit the story. It is dark, bleak, and brutal with a ser ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taking place in Denmark, this ominous novel positively pulses with menace. A murderer leaves at the scene of the crime a sinister and primitive fetish in the form of a man made from chestnuts and matchsticks which echoes a childhood song about the “apple man.” The beginning is jaw-droppingly violent and the murders continue along this grisly vein. Gripping, violent and gruesome this is quite an addition to the Scandi-Noir subgenre. Best of all nothing is obvious although the ending did feel a bi ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of police procedurals and this book hit the spot for me. It is very gory and graphic though so keep that in mind if you decide to read the book. It's also very atmospheric, with the dark, wet, dreary, cold climate of Copenhagen setting the stage for a serial killer. The story begins thirty years ago when a farm family is brutally slaughtered, along with a soon to retire detective, who stopped at the farm to investigate complaints of wandering farm animals.

The book than moves to th
Fans of the hit show, The Killing, will find some common elements in the Chestnut Man, the debut from Danish screenwriter Soren Sveistrup. As a fan of the TV show, I appreciated the similarities, from the gloomy atmosphere to the flawed detective duo of Hess and Thulin.

The two are paired up when the murder of a young woman has links to the disappearance of a young girl a year earlier. When the cases are linked to other grisly murders, it’s clear there is a serial murderer on the loose in
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
5 Heart Pounding Stars!!! You'll never see/think of chestnuts roasting on an open fire the same way again!

It takes a lot for thrillers to impress me, even more for them to stump me. The Chestnut Man did both and is hands down my fave thriller read this year!

Combining a gripping storyline with great characters and the kind of intense atmosphere that will have you ferociously turning pages this was one of the best crime novels I have read in a while. I'm a sucker for police procedurals and th
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is very much in the style of Nordic Noir. Terrific intrigue at its best, descritptions of places that create the background for the plot and characters, and even the two main protagonists are hardly ever referred to by their first names, usually they are simply Thulin and Hess, which are the surnames. Yes, this is one of the thrillers that engaged me, despite graphic presentations of brutal murders of young women. I admit however, that these presentations are for the sake of a craftly ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scandinavian police procedurals are surely some of my favourite foreign books, as they bring the story to life and do not lose impact when translated into English. Søren Sveistrup does a masterful job at bringing this eerie story to life and leaving just enough out there for the reader to feel a definite chill up the spine. When the body of a woman is discovered outside her home, the Copenhagen Police send their Major Case Team out to investigate. Naia Thulin takes point and has been assigned to ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book. All for the price of a measly review!
So, my thoughts? This book will make it to my top 5 books published in 2019. Seriously good writing!
I pride myself in being able to figure out whodunit, This one had my mind churning. Did I figure it out? Yes. But then, no. Then yes. Crap! I had changed my thinking so many times that I blew it! This was one hell of a story, and just downright creepy. I love ches

I own the Australian edition, but the tagline for the US one, gives me chills, so I just had to include it.

In Copenhagen, police are called to an appalling crime scene. Laura Kjaer, thirty-seven years old, has been mutilated and murdered in the play area bordering her home, while her nine-year old slept inside. Next to the body, hanging from the playhouse, is a crude doll, made from two chestnuts, with twigs for arms and legs.

Things ge
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
My thoughts: There’s a psychopath on the loose in Copenhagen. You know how serial killers like to leave a calling card? This one leaves behind a doll made out of matchsticks and two chestnuts, a “chestnut man.” Dolls are extra creepy, you know?

The Chestnut Man is super crhilling and dark, like Scandinavian Noir DARK. It’s gruesome and bloody and horrific, showing just how sick the killer is. I didn’t guess the twists, nor the ending, and I was enthralled from beginning to end. This w
"Chestnut Man, do come in. Chestnut Man, do come in. Have you any chestnuts that you've brought for me today? Thank You kindly...Won't you stay?"

An innocent children's song, being used as a threat.

A Chestnut Man-a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts-left at each bloody crime scene.

A story that begins on Halloween, 1989 and spans the years till October-present day...

I WAS expecting a creepy mystery.

What I got was a 528 pa
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A dark, gripping and fast paced thriller which had me hooked right up until the end!

“Chestnut man, do come in,
Chestnut man, do come in,
Have you any chestnuts you’ve brought for me today?
Thank you kindly, won’t you stay….."

A murderer is terrorising Copenhagen. They have brutally killed a woman and leave a chestnut man (a small doll made with chestnuts and matchsticks) behind as a calling card. Not only that, but a fingerprint is found on the chestnut doll, which belongs to a girl who was murdered a year ago!
Two vastly diffestay….."
Mandy White
The Chestnut Man is a book that is going gangbusters at the moment. Everywhere I turn I see more people reading and loving it. I had to know what all the fuss was about. This was a buddy read this week with my friend Lisa in NZ. There is so much to talk about with this book, theories to throw around and characters to dissect. The author Soren Sveistrup is the writer behind the TV series The Killing and this is his first novel. Please tell me there will be more, especially with these characters. ...more
I was a big fan of “The Killing” so when I heard about this book, onto the wish list it went. Did it live up to my expectations? You betcha. This Scandi crime/police procedural comes loaded with all the elements that will keep you reading into the wee hours. Two compelling MC’s, an intricate plot & a sinister bad guy…it ticks all the boxes. Set in Copenhagen, it’s the story of a current investigation with deep ties to the past delivered with a stealthy & rising sense of menace.
Ova - Excuse My Reading
I must say it was difficult to read from time to time, as there is a lot of upsetting content in it, but it's not done in a vulgar way and put together very powerfully.

I loved Hess, and Thurin, both strong characters with their flaws. Hess specifically fits quickly into the very likeable anti-hero space in the eyes of the reader. I wish there wasn't the classic 'encounter with the villain and action' section in the end, this book really didn't needed it. But the ending was beautiful. I can't sa
Aga Durka
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
The Chestnut Man is a dark, chilling, character-driven suspense read with lots of police procedural descriptions, which I absolutely love. This book gave me nightmares, I am not kidding, I actually had to quit reading it at night because I was not getting enough rest due to all the disturbing dreams I had. This said, I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves gripping storyline, strong characters, gory and unnerving descriptions of crime scenes, and just a well-written story with many une ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A psychopath is running amuck in Copenhagen and two detectives, a female homicide detective Thulin, and seasoned detective Hess, a man who has gotten his wrists slapped by being thrown back into the lowly homicide division, are seeking a killer. This serial killer likes to take trophies, some hands, a foot just to make life interesting. He preys on women those who have the aura of abusive behavior to their children hanging over their heads. The victims have been tortured and of course this adds ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With this debut novel, Soren Sveistrup presents a brilliant new voice in Nordic Noir crime stories. He wrote the popular Danish TV series, The Killing, and an equally successful American version was based in a dark, dreary, rainy Seattle rather than Copenhagen. The Chestnut Man is a powerful, gritty police procedural with superb character development. It incorporates painstaking, sometimes tedious police investigations, punctuated by diabolical, depraved crimes. Set in Copenhagen, the atmosphere ...more
Raeleen Lemay
This book seriously stressed me out and if that isn’t a sign of a great thriller I don’t know what is!
Julie (JuJu)
“Chestnut man, do come in. Chestnut man, do come in. Have you any chestnuts that you’ve brought for me today? Thank you kindly, won’t you stay …”

This debut is so dark and creepy, it’s perfect for October! Brutal murders, dismembered bodies and a sadistic killer, what more can you ask for?

It hooked me from the dynamic beginning and it was hard to put down after that! If you like evil killers, this book has one of the most twisted ones I’ve read about. His murders are violent and grues
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 (rounded up!)

The novel opens in 1989 when an officer makes a fairly routine visit to a farm to ask the owner to reign in his animals. He quickly finds nearly the entire family brutally (and graphically) murdered.

Jump to present day and we meet Detectives Thulin and Hess. Thulin is a capable though standoffish detective building her resume and seeking a promotion to NC3. Hess has been hopping from force to force and has become a running joke among other officers who don’t take
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Detective Naia Thulin works in the Homicide department in Copenhagen, Denmark which is run by Detective Nylander. She is a single mother to daughter Le and is finding the department a little boring and so requests a transfer to NC3, National Cyber Crime department.

Mark Hess once worked at The Hague for Europol. After some issues, he is transferred to the homicide department in Copenhagen. He doesn’t want to be there and is merely counting the days
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Look at that fabulous cover! I know one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I simply love its simplicity. It's the kind of cover I'm drawn to. And, the best part is that the story is ABSOLUTELY fabulous as well! The Chestnut Man is the very first book I gave a 5-star this year (2019). The combination of a thrilling case with two great detectives, the tough Naia Thulin and burned out investigator Mark Hess who has been ordered to take a break from Europol. They make an excellent team, well n ...more
Liz Barnsley
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the writer of The Killing, I think I can safely say that if you enjoyed that you will enjoy this.

The Chestnut Man is a pacy, considered serial killer thriller with an intriguingly complex cast and a creepy as heck plot that keeps you turning those pages.
Immersively written with a race to the finish edge of seat finale, The Chestnut Man may well haunt your dreams.
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Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed scriptwriter of the Danish television phenomenon The Killing which won various international awards and sold in more than a hundred countries. More recently, Sveistrup wrote the screenplay for Jo Nesbø's The Snowman.

Sveistrup obtained a Master in Literature and in History from the University of Copenhagen and studied at the Danish Film Sc
“grief is love made homeless,” 4 likes
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