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The Chestnut Man

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  14,971 ratings  ·  2,547 reviews
The heart-pounding debut from the creator of the hit Scandinavian television show The Killing.

If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Harper (first published June 6th 2018)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  14,971 ratings  ·  2,547 reviews

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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, riveting,
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!

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
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: overdrive
3.5 stars

A promising start, but a ways to go!

The Chestnut Man is a psychological thriller about a serial killer out for revenge.

Little chestnut men are discovered at the crime scenes of gruesome murders. A 12-year-old girl who has been missing for a year, and presumed dead, has a link to the little dolls. Two detectives are brought in to find "The Chestnut Man," a serial killer who has been eluding the police for years. Putting the puzzle together proves dangerous, as the killer is one step
Sumit RK
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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 that I had
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 enough for me.

The Chestnut Man
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 this
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...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
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
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
David Putnam
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Liked this book it held my attention throughout. It didn’t really grab, though until about a hundred pages in. I think it was the structure, the quick short chapters that helped to move the story long at a fast clip. This prevented me from dropping into the “Fictive Dream,” which is important to for me to enjoy the book. There are also multiple points of view. Once I settled into the style and format I did enjoy the book a great deal. Because of the structure, multiple points of view, the short ...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
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 chestnuts, but I

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 get even more disturbing
"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 page methodical police procedural.

Perhaps I should've known
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 was a little
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

Someone is killing mothers in Denmark and leaving little chestnut figurines at the scene. At times twisted, The Chestnut Man delivers on the suspense and gore but ultimately lacks in engaging pacing.


So first off, let's address the graphic warnings. I went into The Chestnut Man expecting some shocking levels of twisted psyche...plot twist, I didn't think this novel was any gorier than other serial killer stories, and certainly not gorier than any
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.

The first
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
Irena BookDustMagic
It seems to me that everyone already knows about Soren Sveistrup because of The Killing, but since I’ve never watched it, this was my first time encountering his work.
It will definitely not be the last, because my Soren Sveinstrup journey just began!

In case you didn’t have a chance to see The Chestnut Man in person, let me tell you: it is a massive book. It has more than 500 pages and bigger format than usual novels. You could easily use it as a weapon!

But despite this novel looking intimidating
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 gruesome.

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
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy 5 Stars. This will definitely be one of my top books of 2019.

Trying to find the next one like this will be hard. This book casts a very big shadow...

Guys, I feel really bad for the next book in line because I'm in a major book coma. Due to life circumstances, it has taken me FOREVER to get through this book, but it wasn't because I didn't like it. It was just very long and there wasn't a lot of time to read in one sitting.

I've seen a lot of reviews from very trusted friends who mentioned
Aga Durka
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve never seen “The Killing” tv show which this author is most well known for. I honestly bought it because Barnes and Noble has the hardcover 50% off and it sounded interesting. This was a very good choice on my part and one that may lead me to watching his show as well.

The Chestnut Man is your classic Nordic Noir, leaning on the police procedural side of the spectrum. It follows a case involving a serial killer who preys specifically on mothers and leaves a handmade chestnut man figure by
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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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 School. He has
“grief is love made homeless,” 9 likes
“Lein on kodutuks jäänud armastus ning inimene peab leinaga koos elama ja sundima end edasi liikuma.” 0 likes
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