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Published by Mantle, 26 September 2013.
In The Strangler’s Honeymoona
nameless man is in holiday in Greece
with his wife but when she tells him that she is going to leave him for someone
else he strangles her and dumps her body in a ravine. Two years later he picks
up a girl in a London
pub but when she first encourages his advances and then rejects him he
strangles her too. A year later in the fictitious town of Wallburg a third woman is strangled. And a
year after that, in Maardam two women, Martina Kammerle who is bipolar, and her
16-year-old daughter Monica are in a sexual relationship with a man calling
himself Benjamin Kerran. Because of the mother’s illness both women lead very isolated
lives and when they both go disappear they are not missed for some time. A
priest in whom Monica had wanted to confide but only with a promise not to go
to the police consults Van Veeteren but he is about to go on holiday and tells
the priest to come back later. However, before Van Veeteren returns the police
dies in an accident - but was it an accident? Meanwhile Martina’s decomposing
body has been found in her flat and there are now deep concerns about Monica.
All these strands are seemingly unconnected and the many clues resulting from
police enquiries seem to lead only to dead ends. It takes Van Veeteren’s
intuitive skills to re-examine the clues and find the one which will lead the
police along the trail of guilt through the labyrinth to the final revelation.
This is a
very long book with a complex narrative. But the author’s skill in handling not
only the complicated plot but the enormous cast of characters, each one of whom
is tellingly differentiated, is manifest.Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Radmila May
novels by Hakan Nesser: Borkman’s Point, The Return, The Mind’s Eye, Woman
with a Birthmark, The Inspector and Silence, The Unlucky Lottery, Hour of the
Hakan Nesserwas born February
21, 1950 in Kumla Sweden.
He attended Uppsala
University. He is a celebrated award-winning Swedish
crime writer whose novels have only recently been translated into English. His
series detective is Van Veeteren, although by the time of the novels reviewed
below he has retired and is now running an antiquarian bookshop. He is often
called upon for informal advice by his former colleagues who value his insight
and ability to make connections that others miss. The novels are set in a
fictitious country, never named but an amalgam ofHolland, Belgium, Germany,
and perhaps others. The police headquarters is in the town of Maardam.