Chain reaction

Hakan Nesser is one of my favourite Nordic Noir writers. A snippet of a review for Hour of the Wolf from The Independent compares him to Hitchcock, and the reviewer is quite right; Nesser is unusual in that he doesn't just look at the crime, or the morality of the crime, he also looks at it from various points of view. In fact he combines elements of Patricia Highsmith with the classic crime fiction of fellow Noir writers such as Henning Mankell.

Hour of the wolf is, I think, the most powerful in a consistently high quality series. Inspector Van Veeteren is retired; and life is peaceful in the lead-up to Christmas in the Swedish town of Maardam. A death by a hit-and-run driver however will begin a chain reaction resulting in a number of deaths, among them someone close to Van Veeteren. As the police race to solve the murder of someone close to their own beloved Chief Inspector, the murderer realises that this is not going to be the last death...

Wolf is one of Nesser's most chilling reads. Dark, compelling, and an altogether brilliant read. It kept me completely hooked. If you've never read any Nesser before, this would be a great place to start.


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