THE WEEPING GIRL: HAKAN NESSER trans LAURIE THOMPSON

Posted: April 24, 2013 in review, Scandinavia, Sweden
41Tp7vFqe0L._SL500_P1010568_2Detective Inspector Ewa Moreno is looking forward to her summer vacation, part of which she will spend with her newish boyfriend, Mikel Bau at his holiday home at Port Hagen. She just has to interrogate a lowlife, Franz Lampe-Leermann, held in prison at Lejnice near Port Hagen; a useful snitch in the past he will only talk to her.  
On the train she sees a young girl weeping. The girl Mikaela Lijhart explains that she is on the way to visit her father, who she does not know. Sixteen years previously something happened and he has been in an institution ever since. Once she was eighteen her mother was obliged to tell her about him. The two women go their separate ways.
At the end of her interview Moreno understands why Lampe-Leerman only wanted to speak to a woman, as he reveals he knows a journalist with proof that one of her colleagues at Maardam is a paedophile.
Moreno confides in Munster, but before she can really begin to enjoy her time away from work, Sigrid Lijphart comes to Lejnice and reports her daughter as a missing person. Mikaela had visited her father, Arnold Maager, at the institution and then made a trip into town before going missing. Moreno learns that Arnold Maager, a teacher,  had murdered a 16 year old girl pupil Winnie Maas, and believes Mikaela’s disappearance is connected to this old crime and begins her own unofficial investigation. Moreno devoting her holiday to amateur detective work causes her relationship with her bloke to suffer, and nothing in this case is at it seems at first glance.
I’ve just told my boyfriend to go to hell because of this business…..I don’t know if that can be classified as occupational injury-what do you think?
This is another brilliant addition to a series of ten books that rivals the Martin Beck books of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo for consistent excellence. 
The Weeping Girl was originally published in Sweden as Ewa Moreno’s Fall [Ewa Moreno’s Case] and the Chief Inspector makes only the very briefest appearance in this story. But Moreno has the personality to carry the book without much assistance, and the other characters are well drawn varying from the helpful local police constable Vogesack to the obnoxious Lejnice Police Chief Vrommel.
The true story of the chief of police in Lejnice.
He had already written over fifty pages, and the title he was currently thinking of giving it was: The Skunk in Uniform.
Although he had not entirely eliminated the possibility of The Long Arm of the Bore, or A Nero of Our Time.
The plot of investigating an old crime  has been attempted many times in recent years [remember this is a book that has taken 13 years to reach us in English] but never quite like this. Hakan Nesser is never predictable, his stories are full of surprises, when a body turns up it is not the one you are expecting. The clever plot combined with the author’s trademark wit and dark humour keep the reader intrigued, a little off-guard and puzzled to the end.
Baasteuwel’s jaw dropped for a moment. ‘I’ve got to hand it to you, you know what you are doing. Do you spend all your holidays like this? ‘You should see me when I’m on duty, said Moreno.
Hakan Nesser has won the European Crime Fiction Star Award [Ripper Award] 2010/2011, the Swedish Crime Writer’s Academy Prize three times, and the Nordic Glass key Award.
The photo shows Hakan Nesser with Maxine Clarke at Crime Fest 2009. 
My reviews of the rest of this superb crime fiction series:
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Comments
  1. Norman – I am really excited to read this book, especially after reading your review. It is very good to hear that Nesser has kept up the quality of his work.

  2. […] See the article here: THE WEEPING GIRL: HAKAN NESSER trans LAURIE THOMPSON … […]

  3. Excellent review Norman. Somehow I am woefully behind on this series despite owning several of the books (though mostly in pesky digital format where they don’t glare at me demanding to be read with the presence of a physical book). This sounds like I can read it despite having missed its predecessors which I just may do.

  4. col says:

    Norman, this is another series I need to get myself into. I have managed to acquire a few of the early ones just haven’t made time for them yet. I expect this one to go on the wishlist.

  5. kathy d. says:

    I am a Hakan Nesser/Inspector Van Veeteren fan. I thank you for your good review, which will cause me to add this book right away to the TBR list (groan), as it is now staggering under the titles that have come to me within the last week from excellent blogs.

  6. […] at Reactions to Reading (Bernadette), Crimepieces (Sarah), Mrs. Peabody Investigates (Katharina), Crime Scraps Review (Norman), Crime Fiction Lover, Euro Crime (Raven aka […]

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