The Axe Woman

Håkan Nesser

Translated by Sarah Death
05 October 2023
464 pages


'A master of suspense' – Sunday Times

When Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti returns to work after a personal tragedy, his boss hands him a cold case to ease him back in. But the case doesn't stay cold for long . . . The Axe Woman is the fifth Inspector Barbarotti novel from bestselling author Håkan Nesser.

Five years previously, Arnold Morinder simply vanished. His partner claimed he had travelled abroad, never to return. But Arnold’s partner was Ellen Bjarnebo: one of Sweden’s most notorious killers, having served over ten years in prison for killing her first husband and dismembering his body with an axe. And when Barbarotti seeks to re-interview Ellen, she is nowhere to be found . . .

With neither a body nor a prime suspect, Barbarotti must use all the ingenuity at his disposal. And as the cold case begins to thaw and he finally begins to make progress, he realizes that nothing about Ellen Bjarnebo can be taken for granted . . .

One of the best Nordic Noir writers
One of Sweden's best crime writers
A master of suspense