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 Europes 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 Veeterens 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.
"World-weariness in a detective is well and good but what if it ends up costing innocent victims their lives? That's the predicament in which Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren finds himself in this moodily affecting mystery, the first to appear in Nesser's native Sweden but the third to be published in the U.S. (after The Return and Borkmann's Point). Though the melancholy cop suspects accused killer Janek Mitter is innocent of drowning his new bride during an alcoholic blackout, Van Veeteren opts to focus on such more personally compelling matters as his own ruptured marriage and to let the judicial process run its course until a second, truly shocking murder boots him and the book into high gear. The suspense intensifies as it becomes apparent that the initial killing was no garden-variety domestic drama but part of a bloody tapestry worthy of Greek tragedy. Even if you guess the book's final twist a bit early, this is a hauntingly powerful tale you won't soon forget. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Available for the first time in English, this book is the one that gave the popular Van Veeteren crime series its start.
About the Author
Hakan Nesser was awarded the 1993 Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Prize for new authors for Mind's Eye published in Sweden as Det Grovmaskiga Natet); he received the best novel award in 1994 for Borkmann's Point and in 1996 for Woman with Birthmark. In 1999 he was awarded the Crime Writers of Scandinavia's Glass Key Award for the best crime novel of the year for Carambole. Nesser lives in Sweden and New York.