The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)
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The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,429 ratings  ·  170 reviews
It’s a sweltering summer in Sweden and Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is long overdue for a holiday when a secretive and dubious religious sect comes under investigation. One of its members, a girl on the cusp of adolescence, is found dead in the forest near their holiday camp, brutally raped and strangled; the discovery of her body has been phoned in by an anonymous caller....more
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Nancy Oakes
Left to man the Sorbinowo police station while the chief takes time off to get over the death of his wife, Sergeant Merwin Kluuge isn't expecting much trouble in this bit of paradise. But it's not long until he receives an anonymous call from a woman claiming that a little girl has disappeared from a camp in Waldingen run by the Pure Life religious sect. The people at the camp say everyone's accounted for. The next day he gets yet another anonymous phone call from the same woman, who threatens t...more
I was disappointed by this book. I'd read all the other Nesser books so far translated into English and I was looking forward to this one, so I felt a little let down. The story opens promisingly enough with a mysterious phonecall in which an unidentified woman claims a girl has been murdered at a site used by a secretive religious group. Van Veeteren gets involved and finds a wall of silence, as the book title suggests. Unfortunately, the denoument fails to live up to the promise shown earlier...more
My first introduction to Håkan Nesser, “The Inspector and silence” affords the reader a thoroughly enjoyable sojourn to Sorbinowo, a forested Swedish lake side town. Looks can be deceptive however and the forest, along with the town, hides a dark secret that local police cannot fathom – enter chief inspector Van Veeteren.

When I began reading “The Inspector and silence” which is incidentally the fifth in a series of ten books to be released in the UK, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect having nev...more
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Van Veeteren
SETTING: Fictional country resembling Sweden
SERIES: #5 of 10
WHY: Inspector Van Veeterren is at a crossroads. Personally, things are less than satisfactory. After a failed marriage, he feels the stirrings of desire to embark on a new relationship, something that will bring him to life again. Professionally, he is feeling worn out and mulling retirement after 35 years on the job. He has found himself tempted by a “for hire” sign in a small local bookst...more
Laura C.
This is the 5th of at least 6 Inspector Van Veeteren mysteries by Hakan Nesser. I do not recommend starting with this book, but I do think I will try again at the beginning of the series. In this book, Inspector Van Veeteren is called in to consult on the possible disappearance of a young girl from a church camp in the beautiful Swedish countryside. Unfortunately, just as the venerable Inspector is dreaming of retiring, so it appears Mr. Nesser is tiring of his protagonist. Mr. Nesser's spare, c...more
Maria João Fernandes
"There's a time for everything."

A proposta da ex-mulher para passar as duas semanas que dispõe de férias com ela, os filhos adultos e os netos é para o Inspector Van Veeteren um ultraje. Ele prefere usufruir do seu tempo livre sozinho e, por essa razão, faz uma reserva para descansar 15 dias em Creta. É com surpresa e alegria - sentimento que raramente o acompanha - que na agência de viagens encontra Ulrike, mulher de umas das vitimas mortais, do caso por ele resolvido há alguns meses atrás ("A...more

The Inspector and Silence
The Silence of Gloom, March 21, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Inspector and Silence: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Hardcover)
This is the 5th book in the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series which I have read. This appeared to me to be the heaviest of emotions displayed by the author in the characters.
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is seriously considering and even planning on his retirement from the Swedish Police Force a...more
Anna Larson
My first Nesser novel and I was ultimately bored for most of the book. The main character, Van Veeteren spends a lot of time doing nothing then "by chance" discovers the clue to solve the murders.

I also was unimpressed with character development...I couldn't keep some of the lesser important police detectives straight and they served no purpose other than to remind me that Van Veeteren would solve this because that's what he did...

Perhaps if I'd read other Nesser novels i might have appreciated...more
I read this during a plane ride to Sweden and coincidentally sat next to a woman who was from the author's home town. Although I got a kick out of the main character, Inspector Van Veteren, VV for short, I thought VV was a little short on the detecting side of things. I discovered the murderer in the first 100 pages and had to wait another 150 pages while VV dawdled, drank and detected, before he found the culprit. While the settings were interesting, taking place in some fictional Northern Euro...more
Tom Jenckes
This was a wonderful book! I found myself looking forward to reading more. It was like a secret pleasure when I found time to delve back into Inspector Van Veeteren's thought processees. I found myself backing acting police chief Kluuge. VV's runing mates Reinhart and Jung were true soldiers in the quest for the killer. Hakan kept me riveted by delving into philosphy through the lead character. I tried to put my finger on why I liked the book so much and I decided I loved the philosophizing. Now...more
Tim Swift
Having developed a taste for translated Nordic detective stories, stumbling across this in a bargain book shop introduced me to a new writer and a new detective, Van Veeteren - although this story, which I think is number five in the series, also marks his retirement from the police and move into antique books. I believe however that he continues to feature in further stories.

It's a good story, the bones of which are outlined on the jacket and in other reviews. The main enjoyment though comes f...more
Kolejna książka opowiadająca o śledztwach komisarza Van Veeterena jest jednocześnie pierwszą, w której postać tę wreszcie polubiłem. Na tle Barbarottiego, innego bohatera tego twórcy Van Veeteren zawsze był jakiś taki… nijaki. No ale dzięki powieści “Komisarz i cisza” wreszcie zrozumiałem, że to nie tyle nijakość, co cały zespół cech, które czynią człowieka zmęczonym, śmiertelnie zmęczonym otaczającym go światem, bezsensem istnienia, brakiem celowości nie tylko w życiu policjanta, ale w życiu w...more
The most pointless, cliched, feebly-plotted murder mystery ever. Beautiful young girls brutally raped and strangled? Give me a break! The story unwinds at a snail's pace and after pointing the finger at the leader of the sect to which the girls belonged, of course our author plucks another culprit at random. Why do such books get published at all, I wonder? It's not even sexy or scary, just boring beyond belief.
Janet Richards
I really like VV - he's human, intuative, and deeply moved by the horrors he has seen including the little girls in this book. It was heading toward a 5 star read, but the ending of the book was weak to me. Nevertheless - the telling of the story was superb. I will read more of the VV mysteries and Nesser to my growing list of favorite European crime writers.
James Thompson
See my review at

Don't let my review dissuade you from reading this. Many enjoy a slow and atmospheric novel. If so, this is for you.
I don't like Van Veeteren quite as much as I liked Kurt Wallander but, as literary characters go, he's a close second. And now that there will be no more Wallander books, that's no small thing.
Given the heinous nature of these summer crimes the willfully glacial pace of the narrative is unforgivable.
Lukasz Pruski
In Hakan Nesser's "The Inspector and Silence" the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren plans his vacations and contemplates retirement. However, he is called to aid in explaining suspicious happenings at a camp for girls organized by a shady religious sect. Soon a brutal murder is discovered, and Van Veeteren has to cancel his vacation plans.

I do not particularly care for book series, but at least in this series the author tries to make each book a little different rather than rewriting the same story u...more
Sharon Bressen
The Inspector and Silence by Haken Nesser

This was the first book I had read by Hakan Nesser but it is not the last by far. His stream-lined style of writing draws the reader in very quickly and takes you along for an exhilarating ride.

This story starts with Chief Inspector Van Veeteren who does not want to go away with his ex-wife, children and grandchildren; so quickly comes up with the excuse that he has already booked a trip to Crete for the same time. He gets assigned to a small case of a mi...more
“Last February—that chilly, godforsaken month. The blessed time of hopelessness, as Mahler, his good friend the poet, that is, not the composer, used to call it” (14).
“ sharp contrast to the tanned cheeks, forehead, and whiskey-fueled wrinkles” (20).
“An idyll—yes, okay, he thought and drew deeply on his cigarette. Seen from a distance, before you’ve had a chance to scrape the surface, most things could seem pretty and well organized” (45-46).
“She led the way to a horseshoe-shaped set of bu...more
Ray Palen
Hakan Nesser's Swedish-based crime novels rank right up there with the best in the game today (Mankell,Nesbo, etc.). More importantly, his aging Inspector Van Veeteren is a singularly unique character with an astute moral barometer and knack for getting to the heart of evil in his cases.

With THE INSPECTOR AND SILENCE, Van Veeteren runs up against a unique roadblock. When the bodies of two young girls are found they bear one thing in common --- they both are members of the Pure Life commune. Pure...more
Nesser, Hakan. THE INSPECTOR AND SILENCE. (2011). ****.
This is another well-written and engaging crime novel featuring Inspector Van Veeteren. The setting is a small town in northern Sweden, where the local police officials have been contacted by an anonymous woman caller that there was a young girl missing – and probably murdered – from the campsite of an ultra conservative religious cult that was holding camp there for the summer. After a topical investigation, a dead body finally is found –...more
Hersilia Press
Although a crime fiction reader knows that a fiction book is just that, fiction, there still are some topics which are more disturbing than others. One of which is violence on children: and we know that this is going to be the theme of the book from the quote at the beginning.

When a teenage girl disappears from the Pure Life camp, run by a religious fanatic and his feeble-minded acolytes, inspector Van Veeteren is called in, despite the lack of evidence of a murder, even after the girl’s body is...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Inspector and Silence, by Hakan Nesser, Translated by Laurie Thompson, Narrated by Simon Vance, produced by Highbridge Audio Company, downloaded from

A small town police chief is called by an unidentified woman and told that people are being murdered at a camp for girls run by religious zealots. She says a girl is missing. The chief calls the camp and they deny that anyone is missing. He pulls together a group of chiefs and police from the aurrounding areas, plus Van Veeteren con...more
Lizzie Hayes
‘The Inspector and Silence’ by Hakan Nesser
Translated by Laurie Thompson
Published by Pan, 15th April 2011. ISBN: 978-0-330-51250-3

Sergeant Merwin Kluuge is currently in charge in Sorbinowo - the Chief of Police Malijsen having decided to take a holiday. Kluuge duties over the last three year have amounted to little more than sending off monthly reports. He is therefore looking forward to a peaceful time, the sun is shinning, he has moved into a new house with his wife Deborah who is expecting th...more
This is copied from my reading diary so I apologise if it sounds a bit 'off'.

The blurb was quite interesting + I like to read about cults so I thought I would give this a go.
This was part of a series and I think, had I read the rest I would have found this a lot more enjoyable.

The story was very slow moving and at times things got confusing + muddled, I feel that some of it was maybe lost in translation. I actually had just over 100 pages left at one point but didn't feel motivated enough to pi...more
Bonnie Brody
This is one of the hottest summers on record in Sweden and Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, on the force for over 30 years, is thinking of retiring. He is tempted by an ad he sees in an antiquarian bookstore window requesting a co-owner and manager. He keeps this in the back of his mind. He also decides he needs a vacation and decides to go to Crete, a location where a woman he is interested in will be vacationing. Instead of going to Crete, he is sent out on a case in rural Sweden.

The case involve...more
...three pale women wrapped in lengths of unbleached cotton cloth...,

Hakan Nesser is my favorite Swedish crime novelist. I have just finished reading his THE INSPECTOR AND SILENCE, an Inspector Van Veeteren mystery. Van Veeteren is Nesser's "agnostic detective chief inspector on his last legs." In this installment, VV after nearly thirty-five years with the police is considering a career change.

When the "three pale women" appear in the pages of this fifth Nesser novel, I thought of the chalky...more
Inspector Van Veeteren is a likeable, slightly flawed character, just like his fictional colleagues Wallander, Adamsberg or Martin Beck. In this, his fifth outing, he ponders early retirement, without wallowing too much in his despair about the world and the depravity of the killers he has dealt with over the years. He doesn't need to say much, or even ponder much, but the reader gets him. This is one of Nesser's great strengths. Although the subject of this novel, the murder of two young girls...more
Feb 10, 2012 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Jeanne, Carly, Chad, Marjan
Recommended to Joe by: New York Times
This was my first book about this detective in a country that resembles Sweden. But it could be somewhere else as it is never really identified. These books play out in a fictitious city called Maardam, said to be located in northern Europe in a country which is never named but resembles Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany. The names however are mostly Dutch.. Unlike other detective novels, this wasn't necessarily a thriller type, but a more cerebral type of detective, and not necessaril...more
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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...more
More about Håkan Nesser...
Mind's Eye (Inspector Van Veeteren #1) Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2) The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3) Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4) Människa utan hund (Barbarotti #1)

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“Imagine a twelve-year-old-girl.
Imagine her being attacked, raped and murdered.
Take your time.
Then imagine God.

M. Barin, poet”
More quotes…