28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
One of the better Nordic crime fictions,
This review is from: The Mind's Eye (The Van Veeteren Series) (Paperback)
In Håkan Nesser's acerbic and sardonic detective Van Veeteren, we have a wonderful winner. As police procedurals go, The Mind's Eye is representative of the genre; what raises this above the usual is the meta-text provided by the author - knowing asides and darkly humorous commentary that enliven the pages. Often, the chapters start with pronouns, requiring some amount of concentration from the reader to decide exactly who is being talked about; unlike reviewers elsewhere who found this confusing, I thought it refreshing, serving to keep the story going as well as keeping me alert. Van Veeteren is the classic noir footpad with a troubled marriage and a jailbird son, and has the usual likes (jazz and classical music) one expects from such a detective. He investigates the case of a husband wakes up one day to find his memory gone and his beautiful wife slaughtered. A sparkling set piece in a court enumerates the facts of the case. The husband is consigned to a mental institution where his memory returns, and for no reason I can discern, he sends a message to the killer. Shortly thereafter he is killed as well. The police procedural then takes over and the investigation proceeds meticulously. It is fairly obvious who the murderer is, even if it's not clear for a while what triggered the murderous spree. This is one of the better crime novels I've read, and I heartily recommend it.