Woman With Birthmark | By Hakan Nesser

This is another Inspector Van Veeteren mystery – previously of Borkman’s Point which I loved! This story was, to me, a little more obvious but still definitely worthy. Something up with those Swedes as this book begins with a funeral. Not light hearted stuff. The woman being buried was not very old when she died but she went to her death bed after making a confession of sorts to her daughter. Then she challenges her daughter to do something. One wonders if she really means do something with your life that was different from mine but nevertheless the daughter, Maria, definitely acts. Van Veeteren and the police department are called into a homicide case of a man who has been shot three times. No one sees or hears anything. He was a dull man who doesn’t seem to go anywhere or do anything. His wife only remembers some odd phone calls. What they fail to realize at this point is the calls only have music playing. The investigators pull his life apart and just when they think they have nothing an identical murder happens to someone seemingly unconnected to the first victim. Finally they have something more to go on. Did these men know each other and who do they have in common? The investigation has some renewed energy now and the hunt is on. Van Veeteren is pretty gritty and unapproachable but well respected by his peers. You can almost see the group sitting around the conference table with their cups of coffee and bleary eyed expressions from too little sleep talking over each point in the case.

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