Check It Out: The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

May 25, 2020

This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today I would like to take a moment to suggest the creepy and unsettling page turner, The Chestnut Man by the internationally acclaimed Danish screenwriter turned novelist Soren Sveistrup.

The city of Copenhagen is being terrorized by a murderous psychopath. At each crime scene he leaves his calling card – a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts. While examining the first doll, forensics makes a startling discovery. On one of the chestnuts is the fingerprint of the daughter of one of the government’s top ministers. A daughter who had been kidnapped a year earlier.

The team tracking down the killer is led by a tenuous pairing. One detective is hoping to transfer to another division and the other one was sent down from his position at Europol for mysterious reasons. They bicker, they fight, and they do not trust each other. But they must put aside those differences to catch this terrifying criminal. What is linking all the victims and how on earth does the minister’s daughter play a role in all of this.

The novel has thoroughly fleshed out characters and a cinematic quality that puts you right in the middle of the action, and the “race against the clock feeling” and tension are palpable.  This ended up being a very scary and thrilling but there are some very disturbing moments involving kids so, be warned. It was one of those books that had me checking my closets and double checking the locks on my windows and doors before I went to bed.

Contact the Sioux City Public Library to get your copy of The Chestnut Man, or talk to one of our librarians to get more creeping and spine-tingling reads.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.