“Nesser spends as much time with his characters as with the mystery, and the police officers soon become familiar, creating an absorbing tale with an unexpected ending.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
In its presentation one can see the influence of the Martin Beck procedurals by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, the prose as clear as Nordic air, the clues as slippery as melting ice. Not that Nesser doesn’t have his moments of song. As sibilant and ethereal as a Sibelius passage, our author will wax poetic:
“What we can be sure of , what we can rely on absolutely, is evil. It never lets us down. Good… goodness is only a stage set, a backdrop against which the satanic performs. Nothing else …..nothing.”
But these are a sparse as the mountain treeline, something Nicci French could do well to learn: great prose can be appreciated most when it stands out against the backdrop of the mundane.
Let others tell you about the three axe murders, the reticent Inspector Van Veeteren, the retiring (actually) Inspector Bausen and Mr Nesser’s literary credentials.