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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifth in the series and it did not disappoint
Two annonymous phone call to the police station at Maardam involving a missing girl, together with the fact that he owes the chief of police in the district a favour, draws Van Veeteren into this investigation. The Pure Life religious sect with its charismatic leader Oscar Yellinek is the centre of this investigation. Van Veeteren is met with silence from the members of...
Published on 14 July 2010 by I Readalot

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what is this?
I must be out of step with other reviewers, but I was very disappointed in this book. I loved Borkmanns point, The Return and The Mind's Eye, and then came this.

I found it slow, aimless, totally lacking in tension. The reader was subjected to endless details of meals, snacks, drinks and generally meandering about, without much purpose. I understand that...
Published on 18 April 2011 by Ms. S. M. Mcafee


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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifth in the series and it did not disappoint, 14 July 2010
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Two annonymous phone call to the police station at Maardam involving a missing girl, together with the fact that he owes the chief of police in the district a favour, draws Van Veeteren into this investigation. The Pure Life religious sect with its charismatic leader Oscar Yellinek is the centre of this investigation. Van Veeteren is met with silence from the members of the sect, even when a body is found, and has to rely on his famous intuition to solve the crimes.

Anyone who has read the previous books in the series will know that all is not what it seems. Nesser appears to enjoy playing with the reader, convincing us that we know what is going on only to throw a spanner in the works so that we have to rethink everything we think we know.

This for me is definitely the darkest of the series due to the subject matter and the quotation from the poet M Barin right at the start sets the scene:
'Imagine a twelve-year old girl. Imagine her being attacked, raped and murdered. Take your time. Then imagine God.'

After this no-one can say they don't know what to expect.

Unlike Jo Nesbo, for example, it is not essential to read these in order, but I think I have got more out of the novels by doing this, the history of Van Veeteren is, after all important to the way he solves his crimes. By now, he is older, wiser and questioning his future - I look forward to the next installment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious subject and an intriguing mystery, but a book rich in humour., 12 April 2011
Sergeant Merwin Kluuge is currently in charge in Sorbinowo - the Chief of Police Malijsen having decided to take a holiday. Kluuge duties over the last three year have amounted to little more than sending off monthly reports. He is therefore looking forward to a peaceful time, the sun is shinning, he has moved into a new house with his wife Deborah who is expecting their first child. For Kluuge all is well with the world until that is he receives a telephone call telling him that a girl is missing from `The Pure Life Camp' at Waldingen, Kluuge telephones the camp at Waldingen and is informed that no one is missing from the camp. But his relief is short-lived when a couple of days later a second call informs him that if he doesn't do something the newspapers will be informed. Chief Malijsen has left a contact name for emergencies and so Kluuge contacts Inspector Van Veeteren

Inspector Van Veeteren is in an introspective mood - approaching sixty, and contemplating a change in his life, he has just booked a holiday starting in two weeks time. An investigation in the lovely lake-town of Sorbinowo should coast him up to his holiday nicely.

`The Pure Life' is a religious sect buried deep in the forested area of Sorbinowo. Apart from three women who appear to be the hand-maidens of the Priest-like leader of the sect Oscar Yellineck, the other inmates are young girls aged between eleven and fourteen. When interviewed by Van Veeteren Oscar Yellineck is adamant that no one is missing. Van Veeteren whose intuition is on high alert, books into a nearby hotel.

The discovery of the body of a young girl raped and strangled has Van Veeteren and the police force crawling all over the sect, but Oscar Yellineck is nowhere to be found and the entire members of the sect refuse to speak. In all interviews Van Veeteren meets a wall of silence.

Although a serious subject and an intriguing mystery, this is a book rich in humour. My knowledge of Swedish writers has previously been limited to Henning Mankell, and I have listened on unabridged audio to all but the last two books written by him, and whilst they are intricate and well-crafted mysteries suiting my mood particularly when I was travelling back from somewhere late at night - all darkness and waving trees, humorous they are not. I wasn't sure if any humour had been lost in translation or if it was the dour style of Swedish mystery writers. But reading Hakan Nesser has redressed the balance, clearly Swedish people have a wonderful sense of humour. And I applaud the translator Laurie Thompson as I felt the rhythm of the book and the marvellous character of Van Veeteren whose introspective musings were the greater part of the story.

I read that Hakan Nesser has received awards for many of his books, I am only sorry that I have not yet read them all, but I will be addressing that immediately.
Highly recommended.
-----
Lizzie Hayes
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 19 Aug 2010
By 
D. P. Mankin (Ceredigion, Wales) - See all my reviews
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I always enjoy reading Hakan Nesser's novels for the droll, and at times quirky, humour of his characters. It is this that distinguishes his novels from many of his contemporaries. Although a key revelation can be predicted from near the beginning the story can still be enjoyed on several levels: for the charm of its characters and their foibles (especially the principal protaganist Van Veeteren); the challenge of solving the puzzle - 'whodunnit'?; and the depiction of a fictitious but believeable society. The plot focuses on horrific crimes but this is never presented in a gory or graphic manner. And the novel is all the better for it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what is this?, 18 April 2011
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This review is from: The Inspector and Silence: Van Veeteren Mysteries Book 5 (The Van Veeteren Series) (Kindle Edition)
I must be out of step with other reviewers, but I was very disappointed in this book. I loved Borkmanns point, The Return and The Mind's Eye, and then came this.

I found it slow, aimless, totally lacking in tension. The reader was subjected to endless details of meals, snacks, drinks and generally meandering about, without much purpose. I understand that Inspector Van Veeteren is winding down. It felt more like it was Hakan Nesser who was winding down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Nesser, 17 Jan 2012
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My wife's review:

I have been reading all Nesser's books in order, so I have been able to see the characters grown and develop along the way and to be honest I have enjoyed all his books. Chief Inspector Van Veeteren has just booked a holiday and has a week or so to spare between cases before he departs; a murder occurs on the grouds where a religious sect are and VV is called in by the local police department to help. The book is aptly named because the police do meet with silence from all the sect members, and the police believe that the sect leader may be to blame for the murder but as the investigations continue other 'incidents' come to light.

Overall a good read, if a little short, which I do recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One to Watch, and to Enjoy Along the Way, 22 July 2011
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"The Inspector and Silence," is fourth in the Inspector Van Veeteren series of crime novels being produced by the Swedish author Hakan Nesser. The writer is another notable entry in the Scandinavian school of crime-writing that has recently become so popular, what with the works of the Swedes Stieg Larsson, who unfortunately has passed from the scene, and Henning Mankell; and the Norwegian Jo Nesbo.

Sweden is wilting through a hot summer, and, in the rural forested lakeside resort town of Sorbinowo, police sergeant Merwin Kluuge, briefly serving as chief during his boss's vacation, is looking forward to nothing so much as a quiet interlude in which to anticipate the birth of his first child. Until he receives a phone call from an anonymous woman, who sounds like she knows what she's talking about. She tells him that a young girl has gone missing from the local summer camp of a secretive, dubious religious cult calling itself The Pure Life. When the same woman calls again, insisting a second young girl has disappeared, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, headquartered nearby, is called in. The Inspector does not make much progress initially. The messianic, charismatic cult leader, Oscar Yellinek, refuses even to admit anyone is missing, and the members of the cult, down to the teenaged summer campers, religiously follow his lead. But then the body of one of the young campers turns up, and she has been brutally raped and murdered. Van Veeteren still finds silence, infuriatingly little cooperation among the cult's largely female members and initiates, but what with the lush scenery, some good food and drink, the odd satisfactory smoke, and good classical music in his car, he is content to let his intuition tackle the case.

Inspector Van Veeteren does, in fact, sometimes seem to be thinking more about food, drink, smoke, and classical music than about the case, but he is nearing retirement, and letting his subconscious do the work. And he has great, highly educated taste in classical music. Author Nesser renders hot summer in Sweden believably and beautifully; he certainly gives us his homeland's ambiance in some very fine prose. The writer's dialog and narrative are to the point, and he is strong on police procedure. Though he does throw at the reader--certainly this reader -- a few too many cops, with unfamiliar Swedish names. But he gives us a good, satisfyingly tight, complex thriller, whose outcome I did not see coming. Mind you, as is true of the other Scandinavian authors with whom the reading world is becoming familiar, he tells a story with more detail on the brutality of the crimes suffered by the young campers than we are used to in American crime fiction, or most British crime fiction, for that matter.

Hakan Nesser has become a very successful, prize-winning author. He was awarded the 1993 Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Prize for new authors for The Mind's Eye. He received the best novel award in 1994 for Borkmann's Point: An Inspector van Veeteren Mystery; and in 1996 for Woman with a Birthmark. In 1999 he was awarded the Crime Writers of Scandinavia's Glass Key Award for the best novel of the year for Carambole. He's clearly one to watch, and to enjoy along the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Inspector Van Veeteren crime story, 26 April 2011
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The action in this book takes place round a strange religious cult where two young girls disappear and are found raped and murdered. Inspector Veeteren is thinking about possible retirement and change of profession. However, he does manage through much slow and, seemingly, almost casual thought to solve the case satisfactorily. It would be a terrible loss if he ever does decide to cease crime-solving!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hakan Nesser--The Inspector and Silence, 10 July 2010
By 
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
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This is the fifth Inspector Van Veeteren novel,set in an invented
and unnamed European country, to be published in English.
Girls of the religious Pure Life sect are gathered in a secluded
summer camp being prepared for their confirmation by a charismatic
leader and his three female acolytes.When one girl goes missing and
another is then found dead,The Pure Life refuse to assist the police
with their investigations.
As the case proceeds,Van Veeteren goes off on his own to make his
enquiries.It is the character of the Inspector that makes Nesser's
novels so enjoyable,amusing and different from other Scandinavian crime
fiction writers.He is guided by his intuition and never allows an
investigation to interrupt his enjoyment of good beer,wine or food.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Nesser so far ..., 19 May 2013
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Nesser has the art of presenting authentic and credible characters. Inspector Van Veeteren could be anyone's father, uncle, friend. The plot is carefully woven and again very believable but it is the analysis of the characters involved that is so satisfying. The motivations, weaknesses and strengths. I believe we may all relate to these. The plot is almost secondary to the careful crafting of personalities. All in all a very satisfying and readable novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking & atmospheric, 19 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Inspector and Silence: Van Veeteren Mysteries Book 5 (The Van Veeteren Series) (Kindle Edition)
not a page turner if that's how you like crime vv is not for you but persevere if you want a good read that will not be forgotten quickly
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