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'A remarkable debut novel' Sunday Times
'The best historical thriller I've read in twenty years' A.J. Finn
'A thrilling, unnerving, clever and beautiful story. Reading it is like giving a little gift to oneself' Fredrik Backman
The year is 1793, Stockholm. King Gustav of Sweden has been assassinated, years of foreign wars have emptied the treasuries, and the realm is governed by a self-interested elite, leaving its citizens to suffer. On the streets, malcontent and paranoia abound.
A body is found in the city's swamp by a watchman, Mickel Cardell, and the case is handed over to investigator Cecil Winge, who is dying of consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell become embroiled in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, and one death will expose a city rotten with corruption beneath its powdered and painted veneer.
The Wolf and the Watchman depicts the capacity for cruelty in the name of survival or greed - but also the capacity for love, friendship, and the desire for a better world.
The second book in the trilogy, 1794: The City Between the Bridges, is available in January 2022
The discovery of a torso in a lake outside Stockholm drives Natt och Dag's masterly first novel, set in 1793. The human remains prove to belong to a man whose limbs were severed one at a time over several months. Identifying the victim and his killer falls to Cecil Winge, an idealistic attorney who assists the police. Winge enlists the aid of Mickel Cardell, a veteran of a fruitless war with Russia in which he lost an arm. Now working as a watchman, Mickel retrieved the cadaver from the water. The pair have few clues to work with, but a piece of fabric with unusual markings wrapped around the body leads them to the Eumenides, an ostensibly charitable upper-class organization that meets in a building that houses a bordello. The book's structure, which includes flashbacks and multiple perspectives, will remind many of Iain Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost, and Natt och Dag uses this structure to heighten suspense and deepen characterizations. The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers named this the best debut novel of 2017, and U.S. readers will be likewise impressed.