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  • Title: Die For Me
  • Author: Jesper Stein
  • Publisher: Mirror Books
  • Publication Date: 16th January 2020

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

A brutal stalker is preying on women in Copenhagen.

DI Axel Steen begins an obsessive manhunt that sends him spiralling out of control.

The investigation is fraught with heart-stopping near-misses, dark mysteries, and a final revelation with devastating consequences.

A raw psychological thriller from a master of crime storytelling.

My Thoughts:

After reading the previous novel by this author, I was keen to see what Jesper Stein had lined up for his maverick detective in Die For Me. The previous book, Unrest, is available to buy and read before you plunge into the icy depths of this book.

Little has changed with Axel Steen, he still displays a flagrant disregard for the rules and his superiors, he walks a perilous tightrope between right and wrong, often straying too close to the depths of darkness. His personal life is a tangled web, his ex-wife is in a relationship with one of his colleagues, a particularity smarmy example of a human. His love for his daughter is one of the few calming influences on the detective, but his dogged determination and sheer bloody mindedness when it comes to his work often leads him to break promises or bring her in to situations that her mother deems inappropriate – a constant bone of contention between the two parents.

The plot is as ever is complex, dark and uncompromisingly emotive. With such a sensitive subject, Stein writes with a sensitivity and respect towards the victims in his novel, but ensures that he portrays the events and vicious perpetrator in a balanced way. The brutal realities of the plot are hard to read, but there is almost a balance in the way Stein details how the victims live with the aftereffects of the violence they endured. The attention to detail feels genuine, it reads as though he has carried out many hours of research into the impacts on mental health and well-being as well as the physical effects of sexual assault.
Technical details of the investigation, in particular the forensic side of the investigation, are fascinating. The complexity of the information is laid out to allow readers to immerse themselves in it, but take away knowledge from it too. I also found it interesting to see how cold cases are reexamined and where links can be made to current cases by a detective making a connection and not giving up on the case.

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