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The Sandman

A Novel
Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
Series: Joona Linna, Book 4
Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The number-one internationally best-selling thriller from the author of The Hypnotist tells the chilling story of a manipulative serial killer and the two brilliant police agents who must try to beat him at his own game. 

Late one night, outside Stockholm, Mikael Kohler-Frost is found wandering. Thirteen years earlier he went missing along with his younger sister. They were long thought to have been victims of Sweden's most notorious serial killer, Jurek Walter, now serving a life sentence in a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Now Mikael tells the police that his sister is still alive and being held by someone he knows only as the Sandman. 

Years ago Detective Inspector Joona Linna made an excruciating personal sacrifice to ensure Jurek's capture. He is keenly aware of what this killer is capable of, and now he is certain that Jurek has an accomplice. He knows that any chance of rescuing Mikael's sister depends on getting Jurek to talk, and that the only agent capable of this is Inspector Saga Bauer, a 27-year-old prodigy. She will have to go under deep cover in the psychiatric ward where Jurek is imprisoned, and she will have to find a way to get to the psychopath before it's too late - and before he gets inside her head. 

©2015 Lars Kepler (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Sandman sends us off to dreamland with a nightmare that can make us happy." (The New York Times Book Review)

"If Jurek Walter reminds you of Hannibal Lecter, with his ability to impel people to act against their own impulse, you’ll be forgiven.... As with Jurek Walter’s powers of persuasion, I felt impelled by Lars Kepler to finish The Sandman. The characters got into my head and I couldn’t rest until the mystery was revealed." (Associated Press)

"Kepler - actually the husband-and-wife team of Alexandra and Alexander Ahndoril - is really good at this stuff. The chapters are short, the characters deftly drawn, and the action churns along." (The Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down

I had read and enjoyed The Hypnotist so I looked for more from Kepler. The Sandman is even more compelling. The story is complicated and keeps you wondering how all the pieces fit together. One or plot decisions felt a bit unrealistic, but not enough to detract from the whole story. For mystery/thriller enthusiasts, I highly recommend it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Where has this author been?

Better question, where have I been looking. Amazing book, incredible author and phenomenal performance. Riveting from page one all the way to the end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

200 chapters . . .

The book is good: spooky, creepy, tense, to tense, intricate, tragic. The tale is well-told, too . . . but a bit spasmodically. There are nearly 200 'chapters.' Sometimes the POV shifts between chapters, other times it's just a dramatic pause. White space--a little pause--would be as effective, it seems to me, and a plot line a bit more linear would be nice. Sometimes the choppiness contributes to the tension, as one vignette reaches a climax only to shift to another also reaching a high point, which sometimes dilutes rather han intensifies the drama. Still, a major effort, and well done.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A solid 4 for me.

This book was engrossing and at times even exciting. The main reason that I give it a 4 is that it is looooong and moves slowly at times, even though I would not say it drags. The protagonist is smart, strong, and lethal as he faces off against a genius level serial killer. This is a VERY dark story, so definitely not for the faint of heart.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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fabulous!

it was suspenseful right up to the last minute! It was well done, left you waiting for the next book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unparalleled Suspense

These Lars Kepler (a duo!) have marvelously intricate plots, yet you never get lost. Heinous acts, described so well you never get upset. And all plot threads are believable, despite the many twists. I savored every moment, and was never disappointed!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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positive review

Great book, keeps you guessing would recommend to others.
well definitely search for other books by this author

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

credibility?

I'm into a couple hours of this book, mostly because I enjoyed The Hypnotist. So far, the set up is long, dull, and entirely incredible. I can't imagine any police force being so careless, make that reckless, with a colleague's life. The characters so far are absurd. The main monster is too Hannibal Lector to make me do anything but roll my eyes. Don't know if I'll finish it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Sandman was underwhelming

I normally love Scandinavian noir, The Sandman just wasn’t doing it for me. Story was plodding and difficult to follow and narration was uninspired. Not even close to Jo Nesbo audio books like The Snowman. Don’t waste your time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

First 3/4 of book good despite chauvinistic men.

A sociopathic murderer is being held in a high security psychiatric hospital. The special police realize they need his help in order to save a young woman who has been held captive for 13 years. Special police decide to send a beautiful, female agent into the hospital posing as a psychiatric patient, in order to get the information. The plan goes awry; murder, murder, murder, murder & more murder and a very, very long sequence of trying to capture the escaped killer ensues.

The story plot wasn't bad. The characters were, though. Almost every male character was a rage-aholic, misogynistic a-hole and/or rape-y. The exception was the captain of the police force. The lead female character, who was supposed to be a special agent, was weak, emotionally & mentally immature but she had a bangin' bod (according to the author and all male characters who gazed upon her) so I guess that's her main strength? The other female characters were verbally, psychologically, sexually harrassed at work and sexually abused by their husbands and/or murdered by the main killer.
The characters were all surface. Some were introduced, never to be heard from again.

The last several chapters...so, so SO many chapters in this book...revolved around trying to re-capture the escaped killer. It grew very tiresome & I just didn't care anymore. It just went on & on with him magically appearing out of nowhere & then stabbing someone.

Narrator was good!

Don't recommend.