A young man, Mikael, is found on a railway line, close to death. Together with his younger sister he disappeared thirteen years ago without any trace. It was assumed they drowned in the nearby sea. Only inspector Joona Linna and his partner believed that they were killed by a serial killer flying under the radar of the police. Soon afterwards, they managed to catch this serial killer, Jurek Walter, at the site of some graves, but there was nothing to link him to the missing children. For the killings, Jurek Walter got sentenced to life in a high security psychiatric unit... Now, with Mikael alive, Joona Linna and his team have to find the sister. The only lead they have is Jurek Walter, who must have an accomplice out there. As he won't talk to the police, they try an undercover mission and send Saga Bauer as a patient to the same psychiatric unit, in the hope of getting some clues about the whereabouts of Mikael's sister...
I enjoyed The Sandman. It was a page turner with three interesting main characters – Joona Linna, Saga Bauer, and Jurek Walter – that remained thrilling from start to end. The plot itself felt a bit constructed, especially towards the end.
Quotes from the book
It turned out that the woman had been in the coffin for almost two years. Jurek Walter had regularly supplied her with food and water, then covered the grave over again.
Reidar knows that he was an unfair father. That was never his intention, it just turned out that way. Everyone always says that they love their children equally, he thinks. Yet we still treat them differently.
"Why would anyone keep two children locked up for all those years? [...] Making sure that they survived, but nothing more, no blackmail, no violence, no abuse..."
"Why didn't you kill him?" he asks, glancing at her. "Because I didn't want to", she replies honestly. [...] "It would have been interesting to watch you do it", he says quietly.
"Killing is neither good nor bad", Jurek goes on calmly. "But it feels strange the first few times... like eating something you didn't think was edible."
He can feel himself aching with desire. All he can think about is how to get into her room again. [...] He makes the decisions, he's the responsible clinician, he can have her put in a straitjacket, tied to her bed, he can do whatever he wants. She's psychotic, paranoid, there's no one she can talk to.
Is she prepared to let herself be raped in order to conceal her mission?
"Do you want to watch while I cut his head off?"