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From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Inspector and Silence
The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser
by Håkan Nesser

Inspector Van Veeteren, jaded from his years doing police work, contemplates retirement.  Even his vacation will not bring him a well-deserved break.  When a young girl is reported missing by an anonymous phone call, the inspector is called in on the case to investigate the Pure Life sect near Sorbinowo.    When questioned, no one at the camp admits to the disappearance of the girl or that she was ever there.  When the adolescent girl's body is found near the Pure Life camp, the case becomes more complicated.  The girl was raped and strangled.  As the police investigate, the statements given by mysterious anonymous woman caller suggests she knows more than she is telling.  Will Inspector Van Veeteren and company be able to solve the case when those who could help remain silent?

In THE INSPECTOR AND SILENCE, the fifth novel in the series, Hakan Nesser creates an intriguing mystery.   Who is the caller and what relationship does she have to the crime?  The portrait of the cult leader, often seen from the eyes of the Pure Life members not only in what they say but also what they do not say, drives the mystery's force indirectly.   As the mystery proceeds, the solution to the crime becomes more obvious to the reader.  The chief interest of this mystery is not so much the mystery detours as in seeing it through the character of Inspector Van Veeteren.  Cynical from years of police work and philosophical in his thoughts, Inspector Van Veeteren is a refreshing change of pace for the mystery lover who seeks something a little different than the typical mystery fare.  He is not always likable in his actions or approach, and yet, somehow, he still draws a reader to him.  His thoughts on crime and crime solving add interesting insights into the mystery.  The author's description of the landscape and particularly the climate take a reader into the scene of the novel quite well.  The summer heat magnifies the level of irritation, making a nice parallel at times with characters' moods and internal thoughts.  Even in translation, the prose reads well.  THE INSPECTOR AND SILENCE is a very good choice for police procedural lovers craving a different kind of sleuth and prose, both brooding, and oddly humorous. 

Publisher: Pantheon (June 14, 2011)
An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
Translator: Laurie Thompson
Author website

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