Review: The Preacher by Sander Jakobsen (4/5)

Monday, 30 June 2014
An astonishingly clever, gripping thriller with a killer hook - from the hottest new name in Scandinavian crime writing.

'You will never find me.'

Thorkild Christensen stares down at his murdered wife, Karen, and realises he knows almost nothing about her. How did she fill her days? Where did she disappear to every Thursday? Lead investigator Detective Thea Krogh is determined to find out.

And then a second woman is shot dead.

There is seemingly nothing to link the two victims, and the police move on, desperate for a lead. But someone out there has a deadly secret. And as events begin to play out - masterminded by a strange and bewitching figure - all of their worlds are about to come crashing down . . .

An ingenious thriller from an exciting new Danish talent. Will you guess the secret to unlock the killer twist?


I've wanted to read more 'Scandi-crime' for a while and when I saw the cover for this book it immediately jumped out at me. Sander Jakobsen is a pseudonym for the Danish writing duo Dagmar Winther and Kenneth Degnbol. I was interested to read a book written by a duo to see what dynamic that would bring to the story.

I loved the setting for the book. Mostly the crime fiction books I read are set in London or the US so to visit a place I've never visited and don't know much about is always exciting. There's a real sense of place with this book and I really felt as if I was a part of it. It doesn't automatically feel like a translated novel, the writing and language is excellent and I found out after reading the authors translated it themselves. The character names and place names are of course very different and for me take some getting used to!

Plot wise it's hard to talk about the book in that regard too much. I often give away too much of the plot in my reviews and have been trying to do less of that! The whole premise of the book feels very real. It isn't particularly sensationalist or over the top. The aim of the duo was to write a true to life story, as not all murders are committed by crazed psychopaths but normal people under pressure. That in itself makes this a scarier read than normal as it isn't all that hard to imagine. The book certainly keeps you on your toes and guessing throughout. I was wrong countless times. A fantastic cliffhanger will lead nicely into the next novel of which there will definitely be one I hope!

The characters are all brilliantly crafted and unique and very different from the sorts of characters I am used to reading about. Ultimately it's a very suspenseful and gripping novel with a heart stopping twist and a brilliant ending. I can't wait to see what's to come from this duo in the future.

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