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Hour of the Wolf (The Van Veeteren Series) Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230745741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230745742
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 4.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘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

‘Nesser, an award-winning writer who has sold millions worldwide, has an easy style which pulls the reader along nicely...Comparisons with other Scandinavian thriller writers don’t work as Nesser has a style all his own, making him a writer who needs to be on the bookshelves of all crime fans. And in Van Veeteren he has created a hero who is easy to like' Edinburgh Evening News

‘All too chillingly plausible tale’ Daily Mail

‘If Scandinavian gloom lights your candle, Håkan Nesser’s Hour of the Wolf will have you howling with pleasure . . . Desolate landscapes and quirky characters are described with impressive skill’ Evening Standard ‘Best books for summer 2012‘

Book Description

The master of Swedish crime fiction returns with the winner of the prestigious Scandinavian Glass Key Award

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the seventh Chief Inspector Van Veeteren mystery to be published
in English,and although he has retired from the police,he becomes closely
and crucially involved in the resolution of this case.
When a male driver,driving under the influence of a considerable amount
of alcohol,knocks down and kills a teenaged boy,this sets in train a
series of events ,as he tries to cover his tracks. This includes the murder
of someone very close to Van Veeteren.
The narrative oscillates between the thoughts of the perpetrator,and the
investigations of Chief Inspector Reinhart and his six colleagues,aided
by Van Veeteren.As usual the author writes with humour ,and some of the
idiosyncratic interviews by the police team are very funny.
This novel shows the author at his best,with a captivating plot,interesting
characters and delightful wit.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am reading through the series of Van Veeteren books. They are all excellent and unusual detective stories - you see the crime from both sides of the fence - the criminal and the police. To help you understand what's going on in the various detectives minds you are given an insight into their thought processes. You also get an insight into their personal lives, their 'back story'. All in all you can get deeply engaged in the development of the story and the people involved - there is nothing superficial about reading one but it's not a 'heavy' read. Once or twice I've worked out how they catch the criminal but at other times it's an absolute mystery till the very end. Great reads, good story lines. I've just started my eighth!
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Van Veeteren is in the thick of this personal murder story, which is graphically described from his and the perspective of all those involved. The fog and confusion as the story evolves give way to a quickening pace, as seen from detective, murderer and victim perspective. As in other bòoks, our master detective operates from afar, yet still manages to make penetrating intuitive leaps crucial to solving this unusual and complex murder story.
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Wow. Wow. Wow. I have read all the books in the series around Chief Inspector Van Veeteren and I have loved each and every one, but this one is simply breathtaking. The story starts off with a terrible accident and the events that unfold after that just becomes a complete nightmare.

The pace never lets up and thankfully today has been an immensely hot day so I sat in the garden and I devoured this cracking book.

The only downside is that I sorely missed Munster but the reason he isn't featured I won't go into for fear of spoiling the storylines for everyone reading them.

I understand there are three more in the series but haven't been translated into English as yet.

Hakan Nesser is just a wonderful crime writer but praise must also be given to the translator, Laurie Thompson, who has done a brilliant job in introducing us to Swedish crime writing at its best.

I cannot wait for the next and am feeling deflated now I have actually finished them.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful story in this strong cannon of detective fiction around a fiction place where intelligence and intuition go hand in hand with old fashioned leg work. The key player is Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, retired, but compelled back to an investigation when a murder happens closer to home than he could ever imagine.

The story is about chance events and encounters and how various decisions can impact on your life and the future of complete strangers beginning with the missing of a late bus.

Well written of course, reflecting on various characters and their motivations. This is never difficult to read and quickly reaches an end that arrives when you could easily go another 100+ pages at a canter. I am a real fan of Hakan Nesser and his detective although retired still looms large in the consciousness of the detective force he left behind. I enjoy the true to life situations and dilemmas his characters face.

As always another book awaits one to read in this terrific series.
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I have read all the VV books and this is by far the best. Tense plotting,careful characterisation and enough suspense to ensure you keep reading late into the night. Don't think twice about reading this novel, highly recommended.
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All good recommend to all detective followers. Enjoy series and then need to find another. Recommend this to all searchers.
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Format: Hardcover
The seventh (of ten) in this police-procedural series set in a fictional country not unlike Holland is a superb example of a classic crime novel, no doubt aided significantly by Laurie Thompson's typically excellent, understated translation. For the first few movingly conveyed chapters, we are in familiar Nesser territory as a 16-year-old boy, walking home late having missed the last bus, is killed by a drunk driver. The killing preys on the driver's mind: he clears away all traces of evidence and after a few days is convinced that nobody has seen him. Then, a letter arrives from someone who claims to know about the crime, demanding money for keeping silent.

What happens next lurches the book into new territory for Nesser: things get personal. This author is the master of the detached, forcefully ironic and amusing tone. His books are peppered with pithy observations, unerringly summing up the petty (and not so petty) annoyances of life. Though Nesser's novels are always good to read, they don't quite hit the emotional bull's-eye in the manner of, say, Karin Fossum. HOUR OF THE WOLF meets this challenge head-on, as the crimes escalate and retired chief inspector Van Veeteren finds himself right in the middle of them.

I found this book to be similar in style and impact to the marvellous Martin Beck novels by Sjowall and Wahloo, in particular in the manner in which the investigation is described, as well as in the descriptions of the thoughts and personal lives of the police officers, accompanied by occasional pointed authorial observations and value-judgements. In addition to this structural framework, the intense suffering of a previously detached and cynical man, when faced with a personal tragedy, is very movingly depicted. I very highly recommend this book, and I'll end my review with a typical quote from Van Veeteren: "Life is much over-rated. But it's better if you don't discover that too soon."

See[...]for full review.
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