Review: Light in a Dark House

cover31133-mediumLight in a Dark House by Jan Costin Wagner

Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa is called to the local hospital in which his young wife died several years before. An unidentified woman in a coma has been murdered by someone who wept over the body, their tears staining the sheets around her. The death marks the start of a series of killings, with the unknown patient at their centre.

As autumn turns to winter, and Christmas fast approaches, Kimmo’s attempts to unravel the case and identify the first victim are complicated by the disappearance of his girlfriend, who has vanished after an awkward encounter at a party thrown by the head of the police force, and by a colleague’s spiral into the depths of a gambling addiction.

Light in a Dark House is an atmospheric, haunting and beautifully written psychological crime thriller from an award winning crime writer.

I really enjoyed this book.  I just read that this is the third in a series and I am desperate to read the other two.  There is so much I love about this book, its difficult to know where to start.  The characters, in particular Kimmo are brilliantly and quirkily drawn.   A lot of the peripheral characters are equally well written and there are a few I would love to see more of. 

I really enjoyed the somewhat clippy writing style.  This is translated from German and I really wish I was competent enough in German to be able to read the original. I’ve not read anything like this before.

There are no big, gory descriptions of the murders, instead a general feeling of dread and unease.  This book is quite unsettling in places, but this all adds to its magic.  I have to say that I found the ending quite abrupt.  I turned the page, expecting more, which at first left me a little confused and even bereft, but in hindsight added to the mystery.  Not all loose ends are perfectly tied up, which imitates real life.  I have a feeling this would translate really well to the screen.

I recommend this to crime fiction lovers.

I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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