The idea is good. Unfortunately it bogs down in futilities. It's as if the author had only one good conclusion to his book and the prior some 250 pages were just filler that had nothing to do with the murders. There's no twists or chase or anything that could give us some thrills. And the conclusion is very anticlimactic. This book is not dark or fill with mysteries. It's just rather dull. We would have wished for a fireworks ending. All we got was a wet firecracker that didn't even raise my drooping sleepy eyes.
Not the best of the Nordic translations, VERY slow moving and Van Veeteren comes across as a self-involved smug detective rather than a genius, but the setting is good and the other detectives are interesting.
Thank you to CB2295 for some background info. I selected this author after reading your comment and am glad I did. This book's title becomes explained towards end of story and turns out to be a fitting turn of phrase. Really enjoyed it and will read more from this author.
I love the Swedish mystery writers. This one stands above them all. couldn`t put the book down and can`t wait to read some more.
This book #2 in the Inspector Van Veeteren series of ten books, the last three of which have not been translated into English as at early 2012 (as have none so far of the author’s subsequent Inspector Barbarotti series); this is a very good book of a quality matching Sweden’s Sjöwall/Wahlöö writing team from the 1960s; this second book in the series makes the background of the main character a lot clearer than the first book did and provides some useful detail about his non-police life which was a bit unclear in the first book; I look forward to reading more in the series, which appears to be set in the Netherlands more than anywhere else and thus offers a more coherent national character this time round that actually contributes to good atmospherics in the story
Interesting personality and location for a mystery.
I really enjoyed the philosophical musing of the detective inspector, along with the mystery. My only quibble was keeping track of characters on occasion--perhaps I just don't remember Scandinavian names well.
I read this thinking that it was the first book in the series, which didn't make too much difference in the long run. I found it rather confusing--Nesser doesn't provide enough clues for the reader to come to an educated guess as to the murder
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