Cover Image: Ruthless

Ruthless

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I am a huge fan of this author. I love Heloise, Erik Schäfer and his wife. Vibrant and realistic characters. Love the setting and quest for answers. I love the complexity of the mob characters with their hints of humanity. 
Trigger warnings - violence against women.
Was this review helpful?
"When Jan Frisch of, a dying elderly man, gives a deathbed confession too unbelievable to be true, journalist Heloise Kaldan immediately knows there’s a deeper story to uncover. Her gut soon proves to be right—Jan immediately backtracks and warns her that they will both be in danger if she asks any more questions. Could this kind and elderly man really be a cold-blooded killer? Heloise quickly realizes that this is a darker, and far more complicated, investigation. Jan is clearly afraid of something, but who or what he’s afraid of could be a dangerous question for Heloise to find the answer to. As she digs deeper, Heloise begins to see that Jan's confession is connected to a string decades-old disappearances. But next of kin and police are lying to her at every turn, and she has no idea what else Jan could be hiding. Enlisting her friend, detective inspector Erik Schäfer, Heloise begins her descent into the past, unsure of what she will unearth."

Is the elderly man cold-blooded killer or not one? Will have to read the book to find out.
Thrilling and suspensful, quick read,.  I give this book 4 stars.
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books, netgalley, and author the chance to leave an honest review.
Published Oct 10th, 2023.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books publishers for my advanced reader’s copy for review. 
Although I enjoyed the first two books in this series, this one fell a little flat for me. There’s nothing wrong with the writing, I think my issue was the uncorrected copy. 
The book still offers the same atmospheric setting, like most Nordic noir novels. Despite all that, I didn’t love it. It is possibly because of formatting issues of the digital version, but it seemed like the chapters were not well transitioned. 
I’m still glad I read it, but unfortunately I can’t give it more than three stars. If you started this series then it’s worth continuing. But I wouldn’t start with this one if you haven’t read the previous two books in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Ruthless is a surprisingly twisty suspense by Anne Mette Hancock. It took me a few chapters to get into this novel but once I did, I was all in. There was a huge surprise twist at the end that I didn't love but I'm pretty sure that was the point. 
Journalist Heloise Kaldan, is taking part in the vigil program. Her first patient is Jan Frischof, an older man with plenty of secrets. When he starts sharing some scary details with Heloise, she knows that she needs to investigate as soon as possible. 
Soon Heloise finds herself in the middle of a mystery surrounding the long ago disappearances of several young women. For some reason their families and the police are absolutely refusing to cooperate. That only makes her that much more curious. So, with the help of her friend, DI Erik Schäfer, she starts delving into the town's past, with no idea what she'll find.
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for gifting me a digital ARC of the third book in the wonderful Scandinavian police procedural series by Anne Mette Hancock - 5 stars!

Journalist Heloise Kaldan befriends a dying elderly man, Jan Frischof, who gives her what seems to be a deathbed confession that she just can't let go.  Her gut tells her that there is a bigger story here, but then he just as suddenly takes back what he said and warns Heloise to not look into anything for both their sakes.  Heloise begins investigating anyway, with the help of Detective Schafer, and it leads her to the possible murder and disappearance of young women.  Just how is Jan involved?  And is Heloise over her head?

This series keeps getting better.  I love the unique perspective of a journalist working with and befriending a police detective - their roles typically put them at odds, but their friendship helps them both.  Heloise is also involved with a group called Vigil, whose goal it is that no one should die alone.  The friendship that developed because of this was heartwarming, and such a noble cause.  This was tense, atmospheric, and a twisty end that I was not expecting.  You could certainly read this as a stand alone, but it's a wonderful series and I'm anxiously awaiting the next book!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed reading this third book in the series. Kaldan and Schaefer make an interesting duo and this time their investigation will land in a very dark place. The story has a slow start, but even so, it does grip the reader's interest, it has a good storyline, it's well-written, and kept me wondering what will come next.
I thank Ms. Hancock, her publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
LOVE Scandinavian thrillers!  This series has tons of twists and turns. Very well done and I can't wait for the next one. Jan Frishof, a dying elderly man, gives a deathbed confession to journalist, Heloise Kaldan. She knows something is off and begins to investigate but she doubts what he claims. Could this calm elderly man really be a killer? Heloise enlists her friend, detective Erik Schafer for help and a mysterious case begins to unfold. It started as a story for Heloise and became so much more. And the ending is WOW. Usually, I can figure out how the novel will end,  but I did not see that coming. Excellently done. Well-played, Ms, Hancock. Can't wait for the next book in the series!

*Special thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this e-arc.*
Was this review helpful?
Wow, I was blown away by the ending of this one! This is a first time read from this author for me and I'm going to have to check out her other books now. The twists and turns in here had me reeling after I finished, and I immediately went to tell my husband lol. You know a book is good when you need to tell someone else (who let's be real doesn't care)!

This was an amazing thriller and I highly recommend reading this one...but maybe not at night.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Crooked Lane for the eARC.
I absolutely love this Nordic noir series, and I am always glad when a new one publishes here in the US. By now, book three, Hancock has created such memorable characters in Kalden and Schafer and I know the mystery is going to go deep, have lots of layers, and leave me satisfied in the end. This book was no exception. The small town created a fearful atmosphere, the deathbed confession was such a great set up, and all the side characters added the darkness I've grown to expect from these novels. I appreciate how Hancock isn't afraid to go dark and explore those kinds of topics. And as always, the chef's kiss is the ending. Hancock knows how to nail it every single time. 

NOTE: This is book three and they need read in order. Also the audio for this and all of them are fantastic.
Was this review helpful?
This thriller is book three in the Heloise Kaldan and Erik Shäfer detective series. Heloise, an investigative journalist, volunteers working with a terminal cancer patient when he reveals some of the secrets from his past. Kaldan with the help of police detective Shäfer begins digging into a twenty-five year old case of young women's disappearances when she starts realizing she's gotten herself into a dangerous territory.

I really enjoyed the first two books: The Corpse Flower and The Collector, so I was really looking forward to this new release.  It started as a slowburn suspense, yet was hard to put down.  The dynamics between Kaldan and Shäfer is always fun to observe.  Shäfer's fatherly wisdom and Kadan's youthful enthusiasm is what moves these tangled cases along.  Those two are a great team.  In this book Kaldan, a loner, also reconnects with her old flame which was a nice storyline to follow.  The book ended with a mindblowing twist.  I was expecting the slowburn to continue through to the end, but the author delivered a shocking revelation.  Was so worth the wait!

Overall, great Scandi Noir read which could be read as a stand-alone, but knowing the background story of the MCs helps.  Plus the first two are amazing books!
Was this review helpful?
A complex tale of cold case murder leading to present day danger for intrepid reporter Heloise Kaldan.  Set in Copenhagen, this pairs Kaldan with police officer Erik Schaefer after Kalden hears a confession from a dying man.  He doesn't give her details about what he's worried about being held to account for which means she plunges into the past somewhat blind, with Schaefer beside her.  I'd not read the earlier books in the series but this was fine as a standalone.  It's nicely atmospheric with good characters.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of Scandi-noir.
Was this review helpful?
Ruthless is book 3 in the Kaldan og Schäfer series by Anne Mette Hancock and she has written another dark mysterious Nordic read by Anne Mette Hancock. 
I found this book to be well written and hard to put down.  A fast paced, engaging story that has twists and turns that had me sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what would happen next.
A page turning police procedural that keeps the reader guessing throughout with an ending that will leave you stunned. Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." 

Thank You NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
Was this review helpful?
There is some magical formula that makes this series work so well- imperfect characters, an unlikely duo, messy personal lives, and intriguing overarching plots. Hancock's writing style is efficient and cuts to the meat of her characters and plot lines.

This story starts a bit slow and builds towards deceptions and twists that reveal a sinister plot in an idyllic Scandinavian setting. The detective, Erik Schäfer, leaps off the page for me and I have to say that he is my favorite character; he had a personal plot line in this story that had me glued to the page. Investigative journalist, Heloise Kaldan, is a bit all over the place and is that character who- although, surviving just by the skin of her teeth at times-uses her inquisitive nature to help others. Both of these protagonists make for a unique combination and an unpredictable crime-fighting duo.

I am looking forward to when the fourth book in the series is published in English, and I hope there are more to come. I would highly recommend this series to readers interested in Nordic noir.

4.25 ✨'s

DRC kindly provided by Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest response. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
If you love dark and twisty, then this series is for you. This is book 3 in the series but totally can be read as a standalone. Confession I didn’t realize it was book 3 until a ways in. I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything.
Was this review helpful?
I love a dark and twisty novel. "Ruthless" is the third novel in the Kaldan and Schäfer series. I haven't read the first two, but this can be read as a standalone, as I didn't feel like I was missing anything. It was fast paced (definitely a page turner), and full of twists, and definitely had an ending that I didn't expect. With how much I enjoyed this novel, I look forward to reading the first two in the series and rereading this. 

Thank you netgalley, Anne Mette Hancock, and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Ruthless is book #3 in the Nordic Noir Kaldan and Schafer series by Anne Mette Hancock. I love this series that pairs Héloïse Kaldan, an investigative journalist, and Erik Schafer, a Copenhagen detective. In Ruthless, Héloïse is volunteering for a hospice charity when she stumbles across a deathbed confession that leads to her and Schafer investigating a cold case. 

I highly recommend this book and series, especially if you love dark crime novels. It’s fast paced, full of twists, and has an ending that is shocking (I really did not see it coming 🤯). 

Thank you @crookedlanebooks and @netgalley for allowing me to read this book ahead of publication in exchange for my honest review.

(I have also added this review to the Barnes & Noble site).
Was this review helpful?
Copenhagen Investigative Journalist Heloise Kaldan is working on a series of articles on the work done by a volunteer group called Vigil who visit dying patients who have no family or friends to keep them company in their final illness. As part of her research, she has been visiting an elderly man called Jan Frischof, dying of cancer and also dementia, and they have become unlikely friends, but when he makes a confession to her about past deeds that still haunt him and the fear that someone is coming for him, she senses a bigger story and one that Jan needs to have resolved. 

This is the third novel in this Nordic noir series featuring Heloise Kaldan and her friend DS Erik Schäfer of the Copenhagen Violent Crimes Unit. Digging into Jan’s past, she discovers he was working on a farm with a man called Tom Mázoreck, who seems to have some significance for him, in a town called Rinkenæs in south Jutland, during the time when a young women disappeared from there. Heloise’s editor refuses to let her spend any time pursuing the story, but instead wants her to finish her series on Vigil. Frustrated at finding the police hostile and unhelpful when she enquires about the case of the missing woman, Heloise decides to take time off work and travel to Rinkenæs to investigate herself. 

Jan warns her she will be in danger if she looks into his past, but never one to shy away from danger, Heloise is determined to find out about Mázoreck and how he fits into Jan’s past. However, the deeper she looks into the people involved with Jan on the farm, the more danger she finds herself in. With Jan’s health failing daily, Heloise has a race against time to find out the truth. 

Since Heloise is out of Schäfer’s jurisdiction of Copenhagen, he doesn’t feature as much as in the earlier novels but is in constant touch with her and helps out late in the piece. She suspects the local police are covering up something, so is reluctant to go to them with what she finds and suspects. However, she does receive help and support from journalist and ex-lover (and recently divorced) Thomas Malling who has moved back from his successful career in the US and now works in Jutland.

This is a dark and chilling murder mystery with quite a few twists and turns including a huge twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but totally made sense. Heloise meets some very violent people indeed in Rinkenæs and uncovers a string of violent historical crimes. The novel would work well as a stand-alone as it’s not essential to know Heloise’s backstory to enjoy it.
Was this review helpful?
I didn’t know this was a series and now I need the previous books, a page turner and single sitting read. I’m not a fan of crime thriller usually but this one was great.
Was this review helpful?
Twisty until the very end, the third entry in the Kaldan and Schäfer series is dark and suspenseful. It can be read as a standalone, but knowing the backstory will make the relationships between the characters clearer. I loved the dialogues between Heloise and Erik, as well as their interactions between them and other characters. The plot starts with a confession from a dying man who is no longer too lucid. Heloise feels compelled to find out what happened so that she can give him an absolution when he passes on. The more she digs, the more mysteries she finds. I liked the cast of suspects, they were all shady and obviously hiding something, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. The final twist came as a shock. I also liked how the personal lives of Heloise and Erik are more in the background, spending the most time following their parallel investigations. It’s a solid entry into this still young series. 
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, #NetGalley/#Crooked Lane Books!
Was this review helpful?
This series just gets better and better, and darker as they go along. What a book. After a slowish start it really ramped up and that ending just blew my mind. What the??? It has been a very long time since a book got me like that. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Heloise and Erik are such great characters, I love their banter and that they would do anything for each other. Heloise hears the ramblings of an old, dying man and cannot make sense of the,l but she knows there is something there. She wants to help the man be at peace before he dies, so she sets off to find out what happened all those years ago. The investigation will lead her down a seriously dangerous path and bring her into contact with some truly vile human beings. But it is not all doom and gloom. A face from her past comes back into her life which was a lovely storyline.

Thanks so much to Crooked Lane Books for my advanced copy of this book to read. Published on October 10th, a must read series l
Was this review helpful?