4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another novel about murder,
This review is from: The Fire Witness (Hardcover)
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This is the best Lars Kepler novel yet. That, at least, is my wife's opinion, whereas I'm not sure. The couple who write the Kepler novels certainly play for high stakes. It's a no-holds-barred detective story full of action, twists and suspense. The danger with that kind of approach is that credulity is stretched to breaking point. There are enough sensational ideas in this novel to create a few more. Putting them all together may be a little over the top, but that depends on the reader's taste. It hasn't stopped Dan Brown yet.
As usual, the hero is the police inspector, Joona Linna, a man who ignores all advice because he's always right. He's under internal investigation at the start of 'The Fire Witness' and I suspect that in real life he'd be suspended several times over before the end of it. Unusually for modern fiction, his private life remains invisible for most of the novel, as it does in the first two novels.
The introduction of a medium as a character is dangerous in a realist novel, but in this case is interesting because it's handled somewhat ambiguously. What the authors also demonstrate is that a crime novelist can create any number of cunning plots by researching psychological disorders. This book wallows in them, which is not surprising given that the initial crime centres on a home for troubled girls.
The book's structure aids quick reading. It is divided into very short chapters, nearly two hundred of them. Consequently, though the book is physically big, it contains a lot of blank space. The back cover contains comparisons to Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. I don't think such comparisons help any author, but they do give a useful indication of the kind of read 'The Fire Witness' is. It is definitely an entertaining one.