The master of Swedish crime fiction returns with the winner of the prestigious Scandinavian Glass Key Award In the dead of night, in the pouring rain, a drunk driver smashes his car into a young man. He abandons the body at the side of the road, but the incident will set in motion a chain of events which will change his life forever. Soon Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, now retired from the Maardam police force, will face his greatest trial yet as someone close to him is, inexplicably, murdered. Van Veeteren's former colleagues, desperate for answers, struggle to decipher the clues to this appalling crime. But when another body is discovered, it gradually becomes clear that this killer is acting on their own terrifying logic...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am reluctant to assign five stars to a mystery novel that is in no way a literary masterpiece. Hakan Nesser's "Hour of the Wolf" does not have the sociological depths of Denise Mina's "Gartnethill". It does not have the simple beauty of some of Karin Fossum's best work. Yet it is such a darn good book. On the surface it is a police procedural, one in Mr. Nesser's Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series, which is located in a fictitious country in Northern Europe that seems like a cross between the Netherlands and Sweden, with some neighboring countries mixed in. When one looks deeper though, the novel is a treatise on guilt and human weakness, a contemplation of this side and the other side of our existence and non-existence.
I think that older people will appreciate this novel more than the young ones. One has to acknowledge the unavoidable proximity of the other side to understand some of the undercurrents present in the book. I was stricken by a beautiful...
The detectives in Hakan Nesser's tales are very realistic, very human. Van Veeteran comes out of retirement to help solve several murders when he is drawn into the investigation on a personnal level. The atmosphere, both physically and emotionally is felt through Nesser's apt descriptions.
This is truly a masterful procedural, which starts out slowly and never gets up pass second gear. It also never seems to get boring even though for many pages it just plods along. It starts off with a hit-and-run killing of a sixteen year old boy on a dark road on a rainy night. Then Van Veterran's son is found murdered in the waste ground behind a restaurant, and then the naked body of a woman is found dead in a ditch. They only connection between VV's son and the woman is that they were both killed by blows to the head from a metal object.
Thus begins the meticulous investigation by VV's old unit to try and solve his son's murder. Though many books have been written like this, that the solution evolves like the peeling of an artichoke, there is something of the way the Nesser develops the leads from one situation to the next that is truly remarkable...
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