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The Inspector and Silence: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Inspector Van Veeteren Mysteries) Hardcover – June 14, 2011

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The Inspector and Silence: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Inspector Van Veeteren Mysteries) + Borkmann's Point: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery [2] + Woman with Birthmark: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (4) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Van Veeteren Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First Edition edition (June 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375425233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375425233
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Nesser's fine fourth Insp. Van Veeteren mystery (after 2009's Woman with a Birthmark) finds the crime-weary detective teetering on the brink of retirement while sweltering through a brutal case of rape and murder at a camp run by a religious group, the Pure Life (aka the "sex sect"), for adolescent girls. Van Veeteren immediately suspects the sinister cult leader, Oscar Yellinek, of killing first one, then another of his eerily silent charges, but he himself faces the real mystery of this disturbing parable of good and evil: how long will Van Veeteren, "spoiled over the years" by human inhumanity, be able to stand the desperately delicate balance of his chosen work, where he must constantly enter the malicious "heart of darkness"? As Van Veeteren slowly reconstructs these crimes, he also wrestles with the dilemma central to Nesser's police procedurals: the necessity of protecting evildoers until justice can be done. (June)


"A taut and compelling mystery in a consistently outstanding series."

"[A] fine fourth Inspector Van Veeteren mystery."
PW (starred)

"[The Inpector and Silence] builds slowly, the grim haunting plot perfectly suited to the methodical, stoic hero."
Kirkus Reviews

"This is stylish, atmospheric crime fiction with a strong moral core from an award-winning author; essential for readers of the genre."
Library Journal

"A thrilling investigation." —Newsweek

Praise for Håkan Nesser and the Inspector Van Veeteren Mysteries
“Nesser’s novels look for the roots of crime in the ills of society . . . He has seized his chance to create his own dark poetry from these stark materials, and the effect is haunting.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Nesser is a master of suspense.”
—The Sunday Times (London)
“Devotees of Jo Nesbø and Henning Mankell will agree that Nesser belongs in that select circle of A-list Scandinavian crime novelists.”
“Nesser has a penetrating eye for the skull beneath the skin.”
—The New York Times
“Inspector Van Veeteren seems destined for a place amongst the great European detectives.”
—Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse mysteries

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

The book was a quick read, suspenseful and gripping.
Carol S.
I found that the plot dragged and the characters were flat and a big annoying.
Amazon Customer
There are also interesting characters and a good plot.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In Håkan Nesser's "The Inspector and Silence," Chief Inspector Van Veeteren (VV) is thinking seriously about calling it quits after approximately thirty-five years in police force. He is fed up with "rooting around in the rubbish heaps of his environment." A ridge of high pressure has brought extraordinarily hot weather. VV's irritable and sweat-drenched subordinates banter, curse, and insult one another as a way of blowing off steam. Although he is planning to take a vacation in Crete, a new and disturbing case comes along that calls for VV's unique blend of experience, insight, and intuition.

Van Veetern leaves Maardam and travels to Sorbinowo to help Acting Chief of Police Merwin Kluuge look into the disappearance of a thirteen-year-old girl from a camp run by Oscar Yellinek, the founder of the Pure Life "free-church community." This sect is devoted to cleansing souls and achieving enlightenment through "prayers, self-denial, [and] purity." Since Yellinek, his female assistants, and the adolescent girls staying at the camp are highly secretive, the investigation gets off to a rocky start. VV, who usually chews toothpicks to avoid cigarettes, reverts to his bad old ways. He smokes, drinks too much, and becomes more and more frustrated by his lack of progress.

This is an off-beat, bitterly humorous, and character-driven mystery. When dead bodies start to turn up and the press finds out, the pressure mounts to find the perpetrator. "The Inspector and Silence" is an engrossing police procedural about the high price of keeping quiet when it is one's moral duty to speak out. It is also a showcase for police officers, both male and female, who must deal with obstruction of justice, secrets, lies, and unspeakable violence in the course of their work.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By E. Crowley VINE VOICE on April 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Inspector Van Veeteren is, again, thinking of retirement. He is tired in body and soul from the thirty-five years he has given to police work. He only sees the worst: the worst one human can do to another, the worst moment in a person's life, the moment when they realize that someone they love is not simply dead, but murdered, the worst people, those who can kill without cause and reason. He has had enough of the unhappiness and desolation of the world; he thinks he might like to be a partner in the ownership and operation of a bookstore.

It is July, one of the hottest on record in whatever country it is that Van Veeteren lives. His summer vacation is on the horizon and he goes to a travel agent for ideas. In front of him in line, is a woman he met when he was investigating the murder of her husband. He thinks he could have fallen in love with this woman if he had met her thirty years ago. He hears the travel agent recite the particulars of her two week stay on Crete. Van Veeteren leaves that agency before the woman can see him, returns home, calls the travel agent and makes the exact same plans. For once he has planned early with a very specific goal in mind.

When he returns to the police station, he feels it is only fair to tell his boss that he is contemplating retirement and that he will give his final decision when he returns from vacation. He has claimed to be preparing to retire many times before without making the final decision. This time, his boss decides to put him to work, telling him he will be getting a "two day vacation" in a little community on a lake. A young police officer has called for help because his superior is on vacation and he has been left in charge.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Merrimon Crawford VINE VOICE on May 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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