For Waldemar Leverkuhn the day could not have begun more auspiciously. He and three of his friends, all retirees, have just won the lottery. It’s a modest sum when split four ways—certainly not enough to lift Waldemar out of the plain apartment he shares with his quiet, weary wife—but it’s enough for the old men to toast their good luck with a blowout at their favorite bar. The celebration ends, however, with Waldemar drunk, stumbling, belligerent, and eventually dead in his own bed, stabbed twenty-eight times in the chest with a carving knife.
Taking charge of the case is Intendent Münster, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren’s longtime right-hand man, and his beguiling colleague Ewa Moreno. They seem to have a surefire lead with the disappearance of one of Waldemar’s friends on the same night as the murder, but after a cursory look into his whereabouts produces more questions than answers, the investigation suddenly seems to solve itself when Marie-Louise Leverkuhn, Waldemar’s wife, confesses to the crime and calmly resigns herself to her fate. The case is, but all accounts, closed. That is, until one of the Leverkuhns’ neighbors in the same unassuming block of apartments goes missing and turns up—spectacularly, gruesomely—in pieces around the city.
Thrown back into the fog and chasing after wisps of clues that tenuously but inextricably link the murders, Müenster and Moreno take center stage in Håkan Nesser’s haunting new addition to his acclaimed series.
Intendent M nster steps out of the shadow of his old boss, the now fully retired Inspector Van Veeteren, in Nesser's sterling sixth Inspector Van Veeteren mystery (after 2011's The Inspector and Silence). M nster has to figure out who stabbed retiree Waldemar Leverkuhn 28 times in his sleep on the night he and three of his friends celebrated winning the lottery. Their shared winnings come out to about 5,000 guilders each, hardly worth murdering for, and Leverkuhn appeared to be a harmless old man without enemies, despite his emotionally frozen family. As M nster and his team investigate, another lottery winner vanishes. The discovery of the body of one of Leverkuhn's neighbors raises the ante. Gallows humor punctuates the solid plot as M nster's introspective musings lead to a surprising ending. M nster's growing self-confidence and his insight show that he can carry the series on his own. Agency: Bonnier Group Agency.