Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Hour of the Wolf - Hakan Nesser

Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson

This is the seventh book in the Inspector Van Veeteren series, set in an unnamed Scandinavian country which bears resemblance to Sweden. Van Veeteren himself has retired to enjoy part ownership of a rare books shop. The rest of his former team are busy but missing him until his son becomes a murder victim in a case with few clues. They were partially estranged but Van Veeteren is shattered by the news and determined to take a close interest in the case.

In this story, the reader is told at the beginning the circumstances of the murders (though the first is a tragic but unreported accident), for the case escalates, and much about the murderer though not his name or occupation. We are therefore well ahead of the police as they struggle to find connections between three deaths, while the Chief of Police, while having little input himself, is pressing them to find a solution to the death of Van Veeteren's son. Soon blackmail enters the equation and clues are found that eventually point to the truth – or do they?

This series does not rely on constant action; the relationships between the police officers occupies a fair amount of the story and did make me care about the people concerned. At times the translation does feel a bit clunky, but somehow for me that does not really matter, just accentuates the rather quirky feel of the whole. The ending did not surprise me, but it was fitting.

I was left feeling involved and sorry for a good many people mixed up in the case. A good read.

Reviewed by Penny Waugh

Guest reviewer Penny Waugh has kindly reviewed this novel for The Little Reader Library - huge thanks to Penny for the review of this book and her thoughts on this series. Penny is a very keen reader whose reviews I always enjoy reading on amazon, and she is part of the ReadItSwapIt website.

Published by Mantle

Thank you very much to Sophie at Mantle for the opportunity to read and review a proof copy of this novel. 

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