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Crime (Lit) Fix   1 comment

I don’t know what it is that makes me crave Scandinavian crime fiction, but I’m addicted. Sweden’s Hakan Nesser’s Mind’s Eye fed my habit, but I know I’ll need more soon. Nesser is a master storyteller whose pacing is neither rushed nor sluggish. The crime scenes aren’t too gruesome and the clues are well hidden. He even manages to throw humor into the mix.

The story begins with Janek Mitter awakening from a drunken stupor only to find his wife drowned in the bathtub. Mitter’s too easy a suspect, but is, nonetheless, tried and convicted before things take a turn and get exciting: Mitter, too, becomes a victim. That’s where Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, a middle-aged investigator with an attitude, comes in. His success rate at solving crimes is impressive. He had early doubts about Mitter’s guilt, but not soon enough.

I had a fairly good idea about who the actual killer was, but was not prepared for why. Van Veeteren knows who but won’t name names because, as he tells a subordinate, “… there has to be a story,” in other words a reason. Nesser’s characters develop slowly, and in an interesting manner. Many chapters begin with stream of consciousness narration and it is unclear who’s doing the thinking. This only enhances the element of suspense. Eventually, it gives way to very clear identities and perspectives.

This is the first of Nesser’s Van Veeteren mysteries. I can’t wait for my next fix, I mean the next installment. Fortunately, Nesser has several.

Mind’s Eye
Four Bookmarks
Pantheon Books, 2008
278 pages

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One response to “Crime (Lit) Fix

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  1. Just ordered it from the library…..see you this am at Mary’s

    robin@cascadingconnections.com

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