The Fire witness by Lars Kepler

fwEuropean writers are respectable. I am not sure if they have a wide reader base though. Book gets published in Swedish and once it becomes well known it gets translated in English and comes to readers like us. Lars Kepler has created the detective character Joona Linna. In terms of character, he is the exact opposite of Hercule Poirot – less colourful, straight talking and to the point. One thing though they have in common – they both have 100% rate of solving cases.

Novel begins with a twin murder in a mental institution for girls as young as 12 years old. Elisabet and Miranda are the girls who have been murdered brutally and Joona Linna happens to pass by the institution. Though he is under internal investigation by National police, he still gets to be an onlooker at the crime scene. One of the victims, Miranda, has her hands over her eyes and her room is grisly with blood all over the room. One of the girls, Vicky Benett, is gone astray and she is alleged to have committed the twin murders. A boy goes missing on a highway. Vicky has kidnapped the boy as well as the car or so it seems. Car is found at the bottom of a nearby river and no dead bodies. The chasing team for Vicky and the boy has been dismantled but Joona Linna, on his own, keeps on looking in spite of encountering difficulties from his creepy past and harsh internal investigation. Once he digs deep into Vicky’s case that he comprehends that she has a very deep unfortunate past and has changed multiple parents over the years but still likes to revisit her first parent Elin. Elin regrets her mistake of not taking care of Vicky during those nine months she adopted Vicky and swears to defend her of denunciation of twin murders. In her team are the best lawyers and Daniel Grim, psychologist of girls at the mental institution. From here on, story takes lots of twist and turns with new character of Flora Hansen thrown into the picture. Flora Hansen can see the ghost of the dead. Why does Joona Linna being a rational, intelligent man continues to visit her? One can only find out by reading the book. As a matter of fact, Flora, in spite of her deemed psychic powers is a crucial witness to this gruesome murder case

Distinctive style of writing with its innumerable zigzags was absorbing.  I like the way Lars Kepler reveals the truth. When you toss in a super natural element in between, story becomes electrifying. Do read this book if you often read detective novels. Hopefully, it satiates your appetite for suspense novels. Looking forward to your comments and likes on Lars’s writing flair. I rate it a 4.25/5. Happy reading!!

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