Monday, September 26, 2011

Audio Review: The Return by Hakan Nesser

I am a big fan of Scandinavian detective stories, and Hakan Nesser's Van Veeteren series makes me happy with its solid plodding. The Return (English translation 2007) is the third Van Veeteren book and a great contribution.

Genre: detective, mystery
Length: 7h 18m
Audio publisher: HighBridge, 2011

RecapThe Return takes us back to the unnamed Scandinavian country a lot like Sweden where Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is on the case.

Review: What I particularly like about this series is it concentrates on the mystery. There's no FBI angling to take away the case, no conspiracy theories hinting on a cover-up. The case is the case and the detectives are on the case. This time Van Veeteren is sidelined with health problems, so one of his underlings does the legwork. This isn't the type of detective story the reader can solve before the reveal, but is more a showcase of Van Veeteren's skills and deductive leaps. Van Veeteren has three solid co-workers who try to match his genius and who add their dry humor to the everyday work of following up leads.

Reading: I can listen to Simon Vance all day. His voice is smooth and sophisticated, and he pulls off world-weary really well. He's one of my favorite readers. The one issue I had was in the writing. Several times misleading pronouns took me out of the story while I stopped to work out who was meant.

Final Thoughts: A solid entry into the Van Veeteren cannon. To jump on the Van Veeteren train, start with Mind's Eye or Borkmann's Point. Currently five books out of the ten in the series have been translated into English.

Grade 4

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