A serial rapist wreaks havoc in Copenhagen.
The police investigation is hampered not only by the absense of evidence or clues to the attacker’s identity, but also by the for e’s own incompetence and prejudice. A DNA sample links the attacks to the cold case that caused DI Axel Steen’s wife to leave him four years earlier.
Steen becomes obsessed with solving the case, a desperate grasp at reconciliation, but his self destructive behaviour only serves to alienate his wife further. Axel Steen’s Hunt for the rapist is a rollercoaster ride of agonising near misses, heart stopping breakthroughs and a desperate search for a perpetrator who will stop at nothing to outwit the police.
This is the second book in the Axel Steen novels, but it can be read as a stand-alone novel, although I do like to read books from the first book in the series, so that I can see the characters grow. However, I do like the Scandinavian crime thrillers.
Axel Steen is clearly a troubled man, his marriage to Cecilie has ended and his daughter Emma, and marriage to Jens Jessen has hit him hard. His marriage came to an end because of his obsession with an old case. He has a hash habit which doesn’t help matters.
This story at times is darkly disturbing, a dark and gritty read certainly not for the faint hearted, and certainly not a cozy mystery.
A serial rapist is on the loose in Copenhagen and for Axel the case seems similar to the one four years earlier, the case that wrecked his marriage. But there are no clues or evidence as to who is committing these crimes. But there now May be DNA evidence linking back to his old case.
This is a fast paced novel, keeping the reader engaged throughout, with one bit of action after another. Axel pushes himself all the time determined to catch the person committing these crimes, he wants the women to be safe on the streets. At times you wonder how much further he can go before he completely burns himself out. There are characters you will like and some you most definitely won’t like. I haven’t really decided how I feel about Axel, because he is so driven that should be a good thing, but he seems to have anger issues as well, he can’t seem to commit romantically. But maybe that’s because of his ex wife. I guess that’s for individual readers to decide for themselves.
I found this to be a very engaging read, despite the dark story, the author added things about Denmark, along with how some of the Danish Police procedures work as each country tends to have different ways of dealing with things. I hadn’t realised that there are problems with immigrants either, so interesting to find out little titbits of information, as you are reading the story.
I do sometimes struggle with some translations, as the brain tries to work out how something is pronounced. I think I would have liked to have read the previous book in the series to get more of a feel for the characters especially to know more about Axel. But I do like the Scandinavian noir books. Always so well written.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I would like to thank #Netgalley and #Mirrorbooks for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
Jesper Stein was born in Aarhus, Denmark. He began his writing career as a journalist and made his literary debut in 2012 with the crime novel UNREST – the first in the Axel Steen series. He has received massive attention for his sharp eye for detail, rich and innovative plotting and confident prose. Praised by critics as a writer who will keep readers on the edge of their seat, Stein has positioned himself as one of the most talented authors of crime fiction in Scandinavia.