Hour of the Wolf

Håkan Nesser

2000 Winner

Glass Key Award

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Pan

9780330512596
480
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.

In the media
‘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

‘Of the Nordic crime writers currently holding readers’ attention in an unbreakable grip, Håkan Nesser is comfortably the most anglocentric. Nesser himself has a notably dry and ironic sense of humour, more redolent of this island than Sweden, and intermittently makes London his home. He also has something in common with another great generator of suspense, Leytonstone-born Alfred Hitchcock: a preoccupation with guilt and the way in which crime draws everyone connected with it into a dark moral miasma – as in the latest book to reach these shores, Hour of the Wolf . . . All this is dispatched with the assurance that readers have come to expect from the author of such quietly compelling crime fiction as The Return and Woman With Birthmark. As before with Nesser, we are reminded of the writer Ruth Rendell in the coolly methodical fashion in which lives are destroyed by a crime, those of both the victims and the perpetrators . . . there is not a single misstep as the grim implications of the narrative are teased out. And — as with Hitchcock — the guilt of a single character becomes a kind of amorphous mass, affecting everyone involved, muddying moral distinctions’ Independent