Lazarus by Lars Kepler, translated by Neil Smith

Lazarus goes about its gory business with the grim resolve and breathless pacing of a slasher movie. There are many people to be dispatched, important victims as well as hapless extras given a few lines of jokey dialogue to indicate their human fallibility, after which their brief time upon the page is abruptly ended by the serial killer Jurek Walter.

Walter, who is Hannibal Lecter–ish in his preternatural intelligence but takes no pleasure from killing, was the super-villain of husband-and-wife duo Lars Kepler’s The Sandman (2018). He was supposedly killed by Swedish police officer Saga Bauer in that book, but, like Rasputin, he managed to survive a constellation of bullet wounds and a near drowning. Now a wrinkled old man with a cheap prosthetic hand, Walter is back to grind the detective Joona Leena, who killed his brother, into the dirt by destroying Linna’s loved ones. The same goes for Bauer, who did, after all, shoot him full of holes.