In the magnificent third installment of the internationally bestselling Bäckström series, the irascible detective becomes entangled in an investigation with—incredibly—strange ties to Tsar Nicholas II, Winston Churchill, and Vladimir Putin. A Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original.
Murder isn't often good news. But when DS Evert Bӓckström is told that Thomas Eriksson—a mafia lawyer and renowned defender of the guilty—has been killed, he can't help but celebrate, perhaps with a little vodka. Bäckström's good mood is spoiled, however, when he's assigned to the frustrating case, as narrowing down the list of people who wanted Eriksson dead is almost impossible. It's miles long! Fortunately, Bӓckström has spent years cultivating a group of questionable acquaintances and shady associates who will prove invaluable in solving the crime—as long as his colleagues don't find out about these illicit connections, or that Bӓckström owes them a few favors. But even the dirtiest cop couldn't have predicted that this trail would lead to a priceless Fabergé music box created for Tsar Nicholas II, with a history as notorious as it is singular.
Det. Supt. Evert B ckstr m receives the best news of his life at the start of Persson's riotous third novel featuring the outrageous, libidinous, thoroughly contemptible, yet oddly magnetic Swedish policeman (after He Who Kills the Dragon): his greatest personal and professional enemy, Thomas Eriksson (aka the "Muslim mafia's favorite lawyer," according to one evening paper), has been murdered. B ckstr m is pleased to visit the crime scene, Eriksson's opulent country villa, where someone bashed in the victim's head with a blunt instrument. He's less happy about investigating the many suspects in the case, which hinges on a Pinocchio-shaped Faberg music box made as a gift for the son of Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, a priceless object that later fell into the hands of Winston Churchill and eventually Vladimir Putin. In the end, B ckstr m, whose only friend was his deceased goldfish, Egon, muddles into a crime-solving epiphany. Persson hilariously skewers contemporary police work and society's corrupted demands on the profession in, as he calls it in an author's note, this "wicked tale for grown-up children."