A U.S. serial killer goes transcontinental.
Stockholm’s A-Unit hasn’t had much to do since they put away the so-called Power Killer, and the team is prepared to do a bit of police grunt work when the body of Swedish literary critic Lars-Erik Hassel is found in an American airport closet. Not only has Hassel been tortured to death in the most cruel and unusual way imaginable, but it quickly becomes clear that the killer has taken Hassel’s seat on the next flight to Sweden. Although A-Unit leader Detective Superintendent Jan-Olov Hultin dispatches the team to the airport to keep the killer out, he manages to evade them and sneak into Sweden to institute his own peculiar reign of terror. After the team extricates itself from a few dead ends, Jan-Olov sends star players Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm stateside to work with FBI Special Agent Ray Larner, who’s been researching the Kentucky Killer for years. It’s been a long time since Larner saw his top suspect burn alive in a fiery wreck, but the unsolved case haunts him, and his madness soon infects Paul and Kerstin. The former lovers are acutely conscious of the boundaries of their relationship when the investigation leads to late nights, while their colleagues are kept busy tallying the body count as the killer gets down to work.
Though Dahl’s writing has lost some of the melancholy beauty of Misterioso (2011), the eerie premise and cogent reasoning will still satisfy.