Synopses & Reviews
The highly anticipated first novel in the Inspector Van Veeteren series in now available in English. At last, American readers will be able to enjoy, from its very beginnings, this addictive series by one of Europe's most beloved and best-selling crime writers.
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knew that murder cases were never as open-and-shut as this one: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months lying facedown in the bathtub, dead. With only the flimsiest excuse as his defense, he is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and imprisoned in a mental institution.
But Van Veeteren's suspicions about the identity of the killer are borne out when Mitter also becomes a murder victim. Now the chief inspector launches a full-scale investigation of the two slayings. But it may only be the unspoken secrets of the dead-revealed in a mysterious letter that Mitter wrote shortly before his death-that will finally allow Van Veeteren to unmask the killer and expose the shocking root of this sordid violence.
Praise for Karin Fossum and the Inspector Sejer series:
"Fossum crafts remarkably incisive psychological suspense: novels that carry the headlong momentum of thrillers and the acuity and weight of literary fiction." —The Washington Post
"The next Scandinavian literary superstar." —Chicago Tribune
"They never last very long, those anonymous joggers and dog-walkers whose only purpose in a crime story is to trip over the body in the woods. Unless, of course, they figure in a novel by Karin Fossum, who makes it her business—and the business of her uncommonly sensitive Norwegian detective, Inspector Konrad Sejer—to scrutinize in great depth and detail every person touched by a murder." —The New York Times Book Review
"I always eagerly await a new novel from Karin Fossum." —Ruth Rendell
"One thing...that immediately sets Fossum's fine mystery apart from other, merely sensational variations on this story line is its self-consciousness…Like the well-ripened queens of psychological suspense to whom she is inevitably compared—Ruth Rendell and PD James—the younger Fossum charts this excursion into the unthinkable with poetic restraint." —The Washington Post
"A truly great writer and explorer of the human mind." —Jo Nesbo
"By stripping away the usual police procedurals, Fossum suffuses her fiction with something closer to the unsparing vision of her great predecessor, Knut Hamsun." —The Independent
"Sejer is a beautifully created character, a thoughtful, lonely man with great empathy." —Publishers Weekly
"Tremendous suspense…A treasure for fans." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Available for the first time in English, this book is the one that gave the popular Van Veeteren crime series its start.
Håkan Nesser is firmly established as one of the world's bestselling crime novelists. And now the novel that introduced Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is available for the first time in English.
The swift conviction left Van Veeteren uneasy: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and his wife dead in the bathtub. With only the flimsiest defense, he is found guilty and imprisoned in a mental institution. But when Mitter is murdered in his bed, Van Veeteren regrets not following his gut and launches an investigation into the two murders. As the chief inspector delves deeper, the twisted root of these violent murders will shock even him.
The first Inspector Sejer novel by Norway's Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum
“No one can thoroughly chill the blood the way Karin Fossum can.” —Los Angeles Times
Eva Magnus and her daughter are out walking by the river when a man’s body floats to the water’s surface. Eva goes to call the police, but when she reaches the phone, she dials another number altogether.
The police find the body anyway. Inspector Sejer and his team quickly determine that the man, Egil, died in a violent attack. But Egil has been missing for months and the trail to his killer is cold. It’s as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute, found dead just before Egil went missing. Sejer sets to work piecing together these two impossible cases; it's not long before he realizes that they aren’t as separate as they previously seemed.
About the Author
Håkan Nesser was born in 1950 in Sweden. In 1993 he was awarded the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Prize for new authors for his novel Mind's Eye, and is the only author to have won the Academy's best novel award three times: in 1994 for Borkmann's Point; in 1996 for Woman with Birthmark; and in 2007 for A Rather Different Story. In 1999 he was awarded the Crime Writers of Scandinavia's Glass Key Award for the best crime novel of the year for Carambole. His novels have been published to wide acclaim in twenty-five countries.