Mind’s Eye by Hakan Nesser


Mind’s Eye by Hakan Nesser

Author: Hakan Nesser

Translator: Laurie Thompson

Title: Mind’s Eye

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: 1993 (Swedish), 2008 (English translation)

Number of Pages: 278

Geographical Setting: Maardem, somewhere in northern Europe

Time period: 1990s

Series: Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery Series (#1 in Swedish, #3 in English)

Plot Summary: When Eva Ringmar is drowned in a bathtub, her husband of three months, Janek Mitter, is immediately primary suspect.  After a long night of drinking wine with his wife, he has no recollection of the night’s events, and though he denies being the murderer, his inability to provide an explanation for what happened, and the lack of other plausible suspects leads to his conviction.  Grizzled Chief Inspector Van Veeteren had doubted Mitter’s guilt, but only becomes certain that Mitter was wrongly convicted after Mitter is also murdered, seemlingly by the same assailant. As Van Veeteren leads the investigation into the murders, a series of sordid details emerge about the lives of the deceased, culminating in a manhunt that results in the unraveling of even more secrets.

Subject Headings: Mystery; Murder; Swedish Fiction; Criminal Investigation; Serial Killers

Appeal: Compelling story, part of a series, well-developed plot, character-centered, conclusive ending, investigative, accessible language, concise language, well-developed characters, unpretentious, witty, plot twists, creepy

Three terms that best describe this book: Police procedural, well-developed characterization, compelling mystery

Three Relevent Fiction Works:

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The first novel in the arguably most famous detective series)

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (The opening book in another contemporary Swedish mystery series)

Nineteen Seventy-Four by David Peace (The first in a contemporary British murder mystery series)

Three Relevent Non-Fiction Works:

Smoke, Mirrors and Murder by Ann Rule (Part of a true crime series that focuses on complext murder mysteries)

Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes by Richard Kocsis (An analysis of why people commit violent crime, including murder)

A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present by  Pieter Spierenburg(A history of murder in Europe throughout recorded history)

Lee Sigman


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