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The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
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The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Inspector Van Veeteren #3)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  3,074 ratings  ·  190 reviews
The author of Borkmann's Point spins a story that leaves even the most veteran crime novel readers chilled.
A new case for Chief Inspector Van Veeteren - the complicated history of a nearly perfect murder. On a sunny August day a man is released from prison. On a rainy April day children at play find his corpse. The fact that the dead man is Leopold Verhaven only becomes c
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Doubleday Canada (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eric_W
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 pu ...more
J.
Questions, questions, and more questions. A never-ending procession of conversations and interviews and interrogations, every one of them at first glance just as pointless and unproductive as the last, auntil that important detail emerged. Most often when one least expected it. That link, that little unexpected reply . . .That sudden but faintly glowing sign in the darkenss that one couldn't afford to overlook. It was important not to rush past it in this overgrown thicket of irrelevant and tir
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Gail
Another fast paced, brilliant thriller from Hakan Nesser and his superb creation, the wonderfully grumpy Van Veeteren.

The twists and turns are like a roller coaster ride, just as I have come to expect from this utterly fantastic writer. This book is the third in the series which has been translated into English, but I think there are a few more in the intervening period which haven't, which is a shame really as they haven't really been released in order. No matter though, as these are utter clas
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Tony
Nesser, Hakan. THE RETURN. (1995; U.S.-2007). *****. This was the second in the Inspector Van Veeteren mystery series published in the States. This time, Van Veeterren, a crusty, 57-year-old policeman on an urban Swedish force is facing a hospital stay for an operation to remove a portion of his colon. He has cancer. Although the prognosis is good, he is truly upset, though he tries not to show it. Showing it would mean giving up some of his crustiness. Just as he is about to undergo the procedu ...more
Ali
I've been reading a lot of Scandinavian mystery novels recently (who knew there were enough of them to constitute an actual genre?) but this wasn't one of my favorites.

I had a hard time keeping track of all of the people in the book (which wasn't entirely necessary, but distracted me all the same) because none of them really had any characteristics beyond "detective," "witness," "victim." I'm sure this would be easier if I followed the whole series through, though.

I also found the jumps from one
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Bill
I have mixed feelings about this mystery, the 3rd Chief Inspector Van Veeteren mystery. It moved along nicely and I liked the cast of characters. The first part of the book featured the other police inspectors as Van Veeteren is in the hospital after having undergone surgery to remove part of his intestine. He follows the investigation via reports from one of the other inspectors. The book moves back and forth from the present, the investigation, to the past, various time frames, various people, ...more
Beth K.
The two Van Veeteren mysteries that I've read so far are pretty good. The characters are well developed, the plot unfolds slowly but interestingly, and the settings are well-described. But here's the real reason I read them, and will continue to do so....

Irmgaard Gellnacht
Uleczka Willmot
Katrina Berenskaya
Jurg Eschenmaa
Claus Menhevern
Andrea Valgre
Bert Schmaa
Judge Heidelbluum
Leopold Verhaven
Dr. Boegenmutter

Maardem
Goldenmaars
Blochberg
Gemejnte
Linzhuisen
Kreugerlaan
Neuwe Blatt
Telegraaf

Awesome, right?!
Stephen Lawton
Very hard to see past the overt misogyny in this book from the murderer who kills because his wife is unable to have sex with him and other women reject him to the returned innocent prisoner who thinks his various girlfriends want him to beat them. Van Veeteren's treatment of one of the nursing staff as little more than a drinks slave was also very unpalatable.
Tahmeena
Very nice, slow-burning novel! I find myself liking Van Vetereen more and more with each book! His inner reflections are very profound but not smug or tedious! He is cranky, funny, and super sharp...a very likable fellow indeed! And he also has an abundance of empathy for misunderstood characters, which he doesn't even realize that he has, making him even more awesome! :-)
The plot was interesting with Verhaven being a pretty fascinating character study! I would have liked a bit more insight into
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Chip
Good points: interesting characters abound! Exotic locales (at least it seems that way in this pedestrian backwater I call home)! Several laugh out loud moments when you least expect them.

Bad points: the Dutch-to-English translation wasn't all there in a few places... whatever the author wrote didn't make the leap into the new language here and there, but not in a way that detracted from the story at all; I just wish there had been one more English-speaking editor reviewing the copy before it we
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Maria João Fernandes
"Nem tudo é o que parece."

Em "The Return", o terceiro livro da série do sueco Håkan Nesser, o Inspector Van Veeteren prepara-se para ser internado no hospital onde irá ser operado a um cancro nos intestinos, quando um corpo sem mãos, pés e cabeça é encontrado no bosque. Inicialmente, o problema é identificar o cadáver, que esteve enrolado durante mais ou menos 8 meses, num tapete. Depois de conhecido o nome, segue-se a caça ao culpado.

É a partir da cama do hospital que Van Veeteren lidera esta i
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Pamela
Hakan Nesser's Inspector Van Veeteren has something in common with P.D. James' Inspector Adam Dalgleish: neither is fully a team player - either with their fictional colleagues or their non-fictional audience. They both solve crimes with flashes of intuitive insight and/or secretive deductive reasoning that is never explained to their colleagues or shared with us, the readers (who would surely like to be able to figure out whodunnit themselves?) until the suspect has been nabbed. The things they ...more
Sayan Bhattacharya
Its not certainly the Great Mystery Thriller, I have read. Many questions, interrogations , thoughts which all are un-productive at the end. From the starting, it seems, its a very fast paced but it could have been ended 100 pages before. The productive and important detailing came at last, which is also not very interesting. Turns and twists seems stale to me. However, its a good plot to read.
Sharon
Yes well.....even more faffing about from Inspector Van Veeteren! I was so frustrated with this book I ended up skimming the last few pages to get to the rather unsatisfying ending and get it over and done with. I'm afraid the Inspector won't be invited to my house anymore.
Dave Riley
Another enthralling visit with Chief Inspector Van Veeteren. Very 'police procedural' and I'm keen on that -- especially the Scandinavian way with procedurals. Taking its own time to unfold while using some radical approaches to the story telling Nesser sends Van Veeteren off stage for much of the novel to recover from bowel surgery.

I loved it.

The translation from the original Swedish is also very good so that the sequences really register as what's happening is located with some very interest
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Susan
The mystery itself--a twice-convicted murderer is killed shortly after being released from prison--was solid, but the translation was choppy. Or perhaps it wasn't the translation, but the author's writing style I found to be disconcerting. It often seemed as if relevant paragraphs or clauses in sentences were missing, which caused me to go back and re-read earlier pages to see if I had missed something. I do have some affection for the chief detective, van Veeteren, who wrestles with a heavy-dut ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I also enjoyed the author's Borkmann's Point, featuring Inspector Van Veeteren and company. I like the style and the characterizations, and the little bit of humor that occasionally surfaces. Two of the policemen are in a car, the driver pulls out to pass someone, and is facing a truck -- "Munster [the passenger] closed his eyes, and on opening them again was able to establish that they had made it." You see the cops as people, while not going deeply into their personal lives. Van Veeteren bring ...more
Naomi
There will be absolutely no hint of spoilers in Nesser reviews from me! I found Nesser books after running out of Karin Fossum books to read. Nesser's writing is excellent and does an unbelievable job at sucking the reader in to the twisted story being laid out. For some reason, in the majority of Scandanavian mystery writers I have found, their ability to do that is second to no other countries mystery writers. The only criticism I have is that I am not happy about with Nesser's books is that i ...more
Sarah
A random Scandinavian choice from a branch library. Translation is a bit iffy. The story is so-so, but told pretty well - I did want to keep reading to find out who dunnit, so that's a positive. Rather odd that the main detective is in hospital for much of the action, so we get lots of minor police bods doing bits and bobs. Great start - loved the dynamics of the class outing, wish there had been more of it. Won't bother with Nesser again, but good to read another slice of life from our friends ...more
Joshua Herring
A man is released from prison and returns home. 8 months later, a body is found in the woods with its hands, feet and head cut off so as to make it difficult to identify. When it is finally identified, it seems to be the body of a man twice convicted for murder. But since the man was already convicted, this begs the uncomfortable question of why anyone would need to kill him? Was it possible he was innocent all along? And if so, who really killed those murdered women and, presumably, him?

VanVee
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Helen
Quite enjoying this series. Swedish author but without the Scandinavian setting -indeed without any very specific setting at all. Is it Holland? Belgium? somewhere in the vicinity in a parallel universe? - I realise that quite a lot of the appeal of much crime fiction actually comes from the sense of place and geographical location, and it's a little bit disturbing not to have that, but on the other hand perhaps it makes you read the story rather than think about the incidental detail. Setting a ...more
Jim
A Swedish crime thriller, inasmuch as it was written by a Swedish writer. The action takes place in some imaginary backwoods in an unspecified part of Northern Europe. The Chief Inspector Van Veeteren (sounds more Dutch than Swedish) has to go into hospital for a serious operation to remove part of his large intestine, he has cancer. The hospital stay gives him a chance to ruminate on what seems to be an almost perfect crime. A body has been discovered by a schoolchild in the woods. The victim i ...more
Clara Mazzi
Scarso. Molto scarso. Per niente avvincente, un movente debolissimo, sia di per sè che rispetto alla ferocia dell'assassino, completamente assente il setting che ha resto gli scrittori nordici giustamente così validi e famosi, troppi personaggi blandamente descritti che fanno solo perdere il filo, un commissario per metà stereotipato e l'altra metà senza carattere (invece di essere il "solito" alcolizzato o fumatore accanito, VV si fa uso di stuzzicadenti). Infine vecchio: ho scoperto che è stat ...more
William
This book introduces a concept I've not seen before, "Klimke's Razor". Klimke's Razor is a simple guideline for civilized and intelligent behavior: "you can not demand more of any person you are talking to (in a civilized conversation) than you are prepared to give yourself."

Regardless on what is learned, mysteries by Swedish authors should be relished for their own sake.
Neena
Browsing online catalogue of our library for Karin Fossum's books, I came across Hakan Nesser's The Return and I think author is going to be a keeper for me. I found this book little bit hard to get in for around 70-80 pages because of Swedish names and complexity of plot. Van Veetran could not become my favourite because he was not omnipresent in plot. The ending was blasting. Different readers might feel differently about the ending and it could generate heated debate. As for as I am concerned ...more
K
Another winner, albeit a bit darker version of V. V. I still enjoyed his character but preferred how Nesser treated him in earlier books. Nevertheless, I continue to find V. V. to be an entertaining police character who manages to play off a good supporting cast. Not the best in this series, but a worthwhile read.
Sammarks
Slow & meandering, another crime thriller which reaches far in the past to solve a current, intertwined murder. The chief character is a little interesting and I look forward to reading another by this author.
Lena
I enjoyed this mystery. The characters were likeable and interesting in themselves. The mystery catches the reader's attention immediately, and (for me, at least) remained a mystery throughout most of the book. But the ending made sense and was satisfying. My only real objection? I learned that the geography was fictional - the name of the towns and villages do not exist on any map that could be the location, and the country where the action takes place is never named. I had thought it was the N ...more
Sandie
Hakan Nesser is a Swedish author who is unfamiliar to me but the cover says he is an international bestseller. His detective is Chief Inspector Van Veeteren. The book is dark but reads well.

An unrecognizably mutilated body is found in the woods, and the police have to determine who the person was, and then who did this heinous crime. The book skips back and forth in time which I did not like much. The murderer is someone from out of the blue, which makes him hard to guess. But a fast and enterta
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Linda  Branham Greenwell
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is ill and having surgery, but participates in solving the crime from his hospital bed.
A man is found murdered with his head cut off and his arms. the first part of the mystery is finding out who he is. The inspectors believe it is Verhaven - a man convicted of murderer and who had served two separate stretches of twelve years for killing two young women. Verhaven was a loner who was once a record-breaking middle distance runner, but was caught cheating and stripped
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chilling story 1 10 May 06, 2010 04:15AM  
  • The Torso (Inspector Huss #3)
  • The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)
  • The Shadow Woman (Inspector Winter #2)
  • Unspoken (Anders Knutas, #2)
  • Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)
  • Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #6)
  • The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck #2)
  • The Blood Spilt (Rebecka Martinsson, #2)
161054
Håkan Nesser is a Swedish author and teacher who has written a number of successful crime fiction novels. He has won Best Swedish Crime Novel Award three times, and his novel Carambole won the Glass Key award in 2000. His books have been translated from Swedish into numerous languages.

Håkan Nesser was born and grew up in Kumla, and has lived most of his adult life in Uppsala. His first novel was p
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More about Håkan Nesser...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Van Veeteren (10 books)
  • Mind's Eye (Inspector Van Veeteren #1)
  • Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)
  • Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)
  • Der unglückliche Mörder. (Inspector Van Veeteren #7)
  • Der Tote vom Strand. (Inspector Van Veeteren #8)
  • Die Schwalbe, die Katze, die Rose und der Tod (Inspector Van Veeteren #9)
  • Sein letzter Fall. (Inspector Van Veeteren #10)
Mind's Eye (Inspector Van Veeteren #1) Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2) Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4) The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5) Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)

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“Isn't that what usually happens? You know who did it, but you have to work your butts off to the knowledge into proof.” 0 likes
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