There are some thrillers you can’t put down, and some you must put down, lest they give you a heart attack. The Rabbit Hunter is in the latter category; this is relentless suspense from a Swedish husband-and-wife team known as Lars Kepler, who are adept at tightening the screws while ratcheting up both your investment in some of the eponymous psycho killer’s potential victims and your revulsion for others.
Now middle-aged and prosperous, the targeted men in this novel were all involved in an incident at their elite boarding school outside of Stockholm that has set the murderer on his deranged path to vengeance nearly 30 years later. The Rabbit Hunter’s first victim is Sweden’s foreign minister. Desperate, the authorities call in Joona Linna, a detective with the National Operations Unit who’s been in prison for abetting a felon’s escape. (This is Kepler’s sixth outing featuring Linna, a former paratrooper with preternatural profiling and deductive skills.) Even though it’s Sweden’s Security Police who release Linna and ask him to work on this case, the country’s law-enforcement and security agencies are suspicious of each other and don’t share intel. The body count grows and becomes exceedingly gruesome before Linna and his unofficial partner from National Security, Saga Bauer, can make progress.