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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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** My thanks to Mel at Mirror Books for my copy of this book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

 

Description:

When the bound, hooded corpse of an unidentified man is found propped up against a gravestone in the central cemetery, Axel Steen is assigned the case.

Rogue camera footage soon suggests police involvement and links to the demolition of the nearby Youth House, teeming with militant far-left radicals. But Axel soon discovers that many people, both inside and out of the force, have an unusual interest in the case and in preventing its resolution.

With a rapidly worsening heart condition, an estranged ex-wife and beloved five-year-old daughter to contend with, Axel will not stop until the killer is caught, whatever the consequences. But the consequences turn out to be greater than expected – especially for Axel himself.

My Thoughts & Review:

I’ve been on a bit of a Scandi crime appreciation spree recently, watching some fantastic Norwegian TV and reading some impressive books, so it seemed like a natural choice to pick up a copy of this to read.

Unrest is a Danish police procedural which features maverick detective Axel Steen, a man who it seems on the face of things is very troubled. A seriously disturbed sleep pattern sees him turning to regular use of cannabis, but this never seems to help stave off the erotic dreams he has about his ex wife. His waking hours are spent baiting and taunting his colleagues and superiors, missing his five-year-old daughter and fearing death. His choice of home is perhaps not the best when riots erupt in the district of Nørrebro. From his home, he has a view of the area as fire breaks out, protesters rally and all hell breaks loose. A phone call brings him into the middle of the danger zone, a body has been discovered in the local cemetery and worryingly, the body of the deceased wears the same guise as the autonomists rioting in the streets.

Steen’s methods are unorthodox to say the least, and he’s not looked upon favourably by his superiors, being reminded by the police chief that he’s on his final warning several times. But somehow, this roguish ways make him quite an appealing character. Readers will feel an affinity with him, he wants answers, he wants to solve the case regardless of the dangers. The juggling of his career with personal life makes for some tricky times for Steen, bringing his young daughter to the morgue so that he can attend a post mortem in one instance, trying to ensure that she has cartoons to watch whilst he attends a less appealing sight.

The writing is superb, there is a real sense of setting with wonderfully vivid descriptions. Tensions of the riots feel so claustrophobic and the danger so real, which makes for quite an unsettling read … I loved it! The clever plotting means that the reader experiences an investigation that is methodical and complex against a backdrop of political unrest with some great characterisation.

Unrest is the first in the Axel Steen series and I really cannot wait to see what happens in the next books.

You can buy a copy of Unrest via:

Amazon UK

UNREST_blog tour 2018 (V2)

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