Book review: Hour of the wolf by Hakan Nesser

Title: Hour of the wolf

Author: Hakan Nesser

 Yan’s pick

 He drives home, very drunk. Then he runs over a 16 years old boy on the road. The boy is dead.

 Under the cover of midnight’s darkness and heavy rain, he thinks he can get away with the hit and run. True, the police scramble and desperately ask for public help and the driver to come forward.

 Then he receives a blackmail letter which demands money for silence.

Isn’t it typical? While he’s in deep water with this accident, his lonely personal life has a dramatic turn – he finds his lover Vera and they get along very well.

Soon another body turns up, this time it is a murder victim. Then Vera’s almost naked body is found on a very cold night with a high level of alcohol in her body.  

Unlike most other detective stories where readers don’t know who the perpetrator is, in this book readers know the story all along, while police have no idea of the links between the three deaths. When I was reading it I did wonder how police could ever piece together the whole picture of what actually happened.

On the one hand I knew who the perpetrator was, but on the other hand I had no idea who he really was, not until the end of the book. This writing style kept me speculating until the last page, especially when the final plot is very much unexpected.

Detective stories from Nordic countries have really caught the attention of the English world in recent years. Some big names include Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo. Their stories are basically set up in some bigger social contexts, but this one is more on personal life and how an incident brings a chain of events into one’s life which alters it dramatically and unexpectedly.

This is the first Hakan Nesser’s book I’ve read and I enjoyed it thoroughly.