I absolutely love foreign films and foreign TV crime series. Lately, I’ve been watching more Netflix series, and I happened upon a crime series that will keep you glued to your seat as we all try to figure out who the serial killer is and why is the killer leaving chestnut figurines at each crime scene.
The Chestnut Man
The Chestnut Man is an amazing crime series that is based on a book of the same name, but in the hands of Dorte Warnoe Hagh, David Sandreuter, and Mikkel Serup… we are treated to a deliciously dark murder mystery. Directed by Kasper Barfoed and Mikkel Serup, the series, season one, stars Danica Curcic, Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, Iben Dorner, Esben Dalgaard Andersen, Anders Hove, and David Denick.
The Chestnut Man begins with a flashback to 1987 when Officer Larsen goes to the Orum family farm to report that their cows have escaped. What he finds in that house is a blood bath. There are only two survivors: two children, a young boy and a young girl. Officer Larsen is murdered at the scene by an unknown assailant. What does this crime have to do with a dead dentist in present time?
In present day Copenhagen, Investigator Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) and Interpol Investigator Mark Hess (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) are thrown together to solve a series of grisly crimes after a dentist Laura Kjaer is found murdered. Kjaer’s hand is missing, and at the crime scene a small chestnut figurine is found.
While Thulin and Hess investigate this crime, Rosa Hartung (Iben Dorner), the Minister of Social Affairs, returns to work after taking leave. Rosa’s daughter has been missing for a year. Kristine Hartung has been assumed dead after a man steps up to confess to the killing. Thulin’s boss, Nylander (Lars Ranthe), wants Kristine’s case reopened, and Kjaer’s fiancé Hans Hauge questioned after Kristine’s fingerprints are found on the chestnut figurine. Is the girl still alive? The forensic specialist, Simon Genz (David Dencik) can’t confirm how or when Kristine made the chestnut figure…but this clue sends Thulin and Hess to speak to Linus Bekker, the man who admitted to killing the girl. The only problem is that Bekker can’t remember where he buried the body, and this makes our two investigators very suspicious if Bekker is even involved with the case.
No one is above suspicion, and we even suspect Rosa and her husband Steen (Esben Dalgaard Anderson) in the disappearance of their daughter. As Hess and Thulin try to solve the murders, each more gruesome than the previous death, they must also learn to trust each other…which seems impossible due to Hess’s constant bucking of the system. Is this why he was put on leave at Interpol?
I love a good mystery, and the darker, the better. Until the very end of The Chestnut Man, we are kept in the dark as to why the killer leaves little chestnut figurines at the crime scene, but when we do learn the identity of the killer and what drove this person to do what they did…to tell you the truth, I did feel pity towards the killer.
Danica Curcic and Mikkel Boe Folsgaard made The Chestnut Man a hit, and I am hoping there is a second season that will feature these two working together to solve more crimes. They are the Danish version of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni.
I highly recommend you watch this excellent series, and remember…what we sow, we reap. Sometimes a childish cruel act can create a monster. Watch The Chestnut Man on Netflix.