Former police detective Joona Linna is once more on the case in the high-octane novel The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler. Things get off to an explosive start as an escort service worker is witness to the brutal assassination of her client, who is none other than the Swedish foreign minister. Initially believing the hit to be the work of terrorists and a possible prelude to additional violence, the Swedish Security Service, including Joona’s former partner, Saga Bauer, turn to Joona for help. But Joona, as Kepler fans know, is in jail as a result of striking an officer in his last case (recounted in Kepler’s previous novel, Stalker.) After some convincing from the prime minister himself, and promises of a possible commuted sentence, Joona agrees to lend his skills to the case at hand. The resulting investigation turns into an action-packed race against the clock to stop a series of additional killings by a ruthless assassin.
Kepler, a pseudonym for husband-and-wife authors Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, builds suspense with each subsequent murder while planting more clues to tantalize readers. Joona is constantly one step behind the killer, increasing the stakes for the next victim in line. While there are instances of graphic violence and admittedly gratuitous sex, Kepler keeps things grounded with real emotional threads for each of his characters. Joona’s relationship with his former co-workers is especially intriguing as he tries to put his criminal misdeeds behind him while rebuilding the trust of his colleagues.
The sixth book in the Joona Linna series (you don’t have to read the others to follow along), The Rabbit Hunter grips readers from the start and rarely lets up throughout its 500-plus pages. The breakneck pace almost seems custom-built for TV or film—producers of the TV adaptation of Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collector, take note! The Rabbit Hunter is a chase you’ll want to get in on.