The Strangler’s Honeymoon by Håkan Nesser (Mantle, $30)
Reviewed by Ruth Brassington
The cluster of horrific Scandinavian crime stories has now yielded The Strangler’s Honeymoon, first published in Swedish in 2001, and now translated into English by Laurie Thompson. In keeping with the Scandinavian crime-writing tradition, the story is blacker than those from milder climes. Ex-teacher Nesser’s books shock with nasty detail – in this one you can feel the killer’s hot breath on your cheek as you read.
The murderer is certainly a match for the ostensibly retired chief inspector and antiquarian bookseller Van Veeteren, one of Sweden’s most popular characters. If you met the killer and the cop in person, you’d probably take to the former more than the latter. Van Veeteren is not at all the easy-going everyman and irritates a lot of his peers in the crime game.
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