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Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (3) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Hakan Nesser | LibraryThing

For some bizarre reason I started listening to this book while mowing a couple of summers ago and then dropped it and only recently came back to it. Bizarre because it’s it’s a good mystery with some bizarre events glued together by Chief Inspector Van Veetteren, known to his colleagues as “VV.”  (When someone calls and asks to speak with a particular inspector on the case but can’t remember the name, he says, “you know, the unpleasant one, the really, really unpleasant one".  He is immediately put through to Van Veeteren.”

A man is found dead and the only apparent identifying trait (the head, hands and feet had been removed) is that he had but one testicle. It turns out that a man convicted of murdering two wives, Verhaven,  years before, had just been released from prison after serving a twenty-four year sentence and fit that description. Whether the man was actually guilty of the murders remains a mystery even though the presiding judge at his trial was absolutely sure he did it.  But the man didn’t care whether he was incarcerated or not.  And who would want him dead?  Or did he know who the real killer might be?  And what is the role of the close-knit small community.

The story jumps around in time, which perhaps was a bit distracting in an audiobook, but it was enjoyable, nevertheless, but somehow also dissatisfying. VanVeeteren is an interesting character with untapped promise for a series, yet some of the events and conclusions seem improbable at best.

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