Hour of the Wolf

Håkan Nesser

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2000 Nominee

Glass Key Award

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22 February 2018
9781509856077
588 minutes
David Timson
Synopsis

A Swedish crime writer as thrilling as Mankell, a detective as compelling as Wallander . . .

Van Veeteren faces a chilling case in Håkan Nesser's Hour of the Wolf, the seventh book to feature Chief Inspector Van Veeteren.

In the dead of night, in the pouring rain, a drunk driver smashes his car into a young man. He abandons the body at the side of the road, but the incident will set in motion a chain of events which will change his life forever.

Soon Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, now retired from the Maardam police force, will face his greatest trial yet as someone close to him is, inexplicably, murdered.

Van Veeteren's former colleagues, desperate for answers, struggle to decipher the clues to this appalling crime. But when another body is discovered, it gradually becomes clear that this killer is acting on their own terrifying logic . . .

Hour of the Wolf is followed by book eight in the series, The Weeping Girl.

‘Hakan Nesser, the godfather of Swedish crime … His Van Veeteren novels have a puckishness and sprightliness that too often elude his younger, gloomier pretenders … Nesser has thus far only been a minor player in the British Nordic crime scene: Hour of the Wolf should be the book to change that’ Metro

‘The Swedish novelist Hakan Nesser is in another league, exhibiting a skill and consistency rare in crime ¬fiction. Hour of the Wolf, translated by Laurie Thompson is one of his finest novels, starting with a road accident and unravelling its terrible consequences. The victim is a 16-year-old boy, struck by a car while walking home late at night, and the accident sets in motion a series of murders. One of the victims is related to Nesser’s detective, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, who has retired to become an antiquarian bookseller. The ex-policeman’s old team rallies to obtain justice for their much-loved former boss in a novel that combines a clever plot with authentic emotion’ Sunday Times

‘All the tropes of Scandinavian crime: physical and metaphysical gloom, desolate landscapes and circumscribed lives. However, it is a grown-up, rather than a depressing read. The investigating cops are skilfully differentiated and their banter is amusing. As for the plot … it contains enough twists to keep you reading through the Bergmanesque darkness’ Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard