After successfully—but bloodily—dismantling a complicated hostage situation at a bank in the suburbs of Stockholm, Detective Paul Hjelm is faced with the requisite investigation by Internal Affairs. It is a potentially career-ending inquiry, but he is plucked out of it by the National Criminal Police commissioner, who drops him into an elite task force of officers assembled from across the country to find an elusive killer with a sophisticated modus operandi and even more sophisticated tastes.
Targeting Sweden’s high-profile business leaders, the killer breaks into their homes at night, waits for his victims, places two bullets in their heads with deadly precision, and removes the bullets from the walls—a ritual enacted to a rare bootleg recording of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic “Misterioso.”
As Hjelm, his young, doggedly energetic partner, Jorge Chavez, and the rest of the team follow one lead after another in their pursuit—navigating the murky underworlds of the Russian Mafia and the secretive members-only society of Sweden’s wealthiest denizens—they must also delve into one of the country’s most persistent ills: a deep-rooted xenophobia that affects both the police and the perpetrator in a small nation that is becoming rapidly internationalized.
The first novel in Arne Dahl’s gripping Intercrime series—widely considered to be one of Sweden’s best—Misterioso is a penetrating, dark, and absorbing introduction to this acclaimed author’s world.
BONUS MATERIAL: This edition includes an excerpt from Arne Dahl's Bad Blood.
Originally published in Sweden in 1999, the first in Dahl's acclaimed Intercrime trilogy focuses on the A-Unit, a freshly formed elite team of six mavericks and misfits from various police units. Typical is Paul Hjelm, who was about to lose his job for the unorthodox handling of a hostage situation. The author artfully fills in the disparate backgrounds of the other four men and one woman, each of whom emerges as a substantial, nuanced character. Plot, though, is not Dahl's strong suit. A less than compelling story line, full of Stockholm street names, leaves the reader floundering in clueless murders for too long, burdened with extended lists of possibilities that don't pan out and a lot of talk about corporations and their board members, some of whom are thought to be possible targets of the media-dubbed "Power Murderer." Eventually, clues come pouring in and the pace picks up.