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.
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.