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Review: The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup


This was one of my recent NetGalley reads that took me completely by surprise and pulled me out of a 4-star slump. I was expecting a typical thriller with possible translation barriers but what I got was far more than I expected.

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclosure: I am part of an affiliate program which means that I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

Genre: Thriller
Published on: 6 June 2018
Pages: 528 (paperback)
Published by: Harper Paperbacks

“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…”

Brutal and bone-chilling

The murder squad in Copenhagen find the body of a single mother, her hand amputated and a chestnut man left at the scene. A revelation reveals that a fingerprint left on the chestnut matches the fingerprint of a young girl declared dead after she went missing a year ago. A series of similar murders occurs, each more brutal than the last and the iconic chestnut figure and fingerprints found at the scene. The police must work fast to find out why the women are being targeted, the significance of the chestnut men, the mystery behind the fingerprint, and crucially, the psychopath who is terrorising the city.

An action-packed thriller

On this page, you can find a checklist of everything I look for in a thriller. The Chestnut Man ticked every box – there was plenty of action without it being unrealistic, multiple twists and turns throughout, red herrings that caught me completely off-guard, and an ending that I did not see coming. The secondary plots kept my attention and stopped me from guessing who the killer was. The characters were well-crafted and there was just enough to have numerous suspects without there being any unnecessary additions. I also thought the plot was intricate and extremely well constructed.

Classic Nordic noir

I had no idea what Nordic noir was until I read The Chestnut Man and it’s definitely a genre I want to explore more of. It’s a type of Scandi crime fiction that often features dark storylines and gloomy settings. This book certainly had those two major characteristics. If you can recommend any books in this setting, please throw them my way.

The Chestnut Man remains one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read, especially for a debut. I can’t wait to see what the author produces next!

Fun fact: Søren Sveistrup and I share a birthday🎂

5 responses to “Review: The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup”

  1. Seeing your Goodreads widget reminded me that I have not updated mine probably since March. Oh dear.

    I love that you look for action-packed thrillers that don’t rush the ending too. That’s my biggest qualm with any book really. It’s especially bothersome if the book seems to drag just to fill pages. Then, the good stuff starts happening again, and bam, it’s done. You are left thinking: What the hell just happened, and why was this so poorly paced?!

    I am working on our NC book list this weekend ; ) Have a great one!


    1. So true, I’ve not read many thrillers recently as I find too many just end abruptly or aren’t paced right. It’s probably the hardest genre to nail in my opinion. This one had everything though and it was such an unexpected delight! Oh dear, I pride myself on being on top of my Goodreads hahaha. It’s the only way I can keep track! Have a great weekend too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Check out my full review of The Chestnut Man here. […]


  3. […] you love a thriller but struggle to find a five-star, give this one a go. Keeping this one short so here’s my full review if you want to read […]


  4. […] Scandinavian setting,’ Nordic noir is like a thriller, but on steroids. I’ve only read The Chestnut Man and I’m Traveling Alone but both were top […]


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