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The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,428 Ratings  ·  219 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 Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Oct 07, 2011 Livia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder, håkan-nesser
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
Apr 16, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2016 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Van Veeteren
SETTING: Fictional country resembling Sweden
SERIES: #5 of 10

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 bookstore.
Janet Richards
Jul 31, 2011 Janet Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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.
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.
Laura C.
Aug 11, 2012 Laura C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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

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
Jan Greer
Jul 23, 2015 Jan Greer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dreadful reading. Story line was all over again he place. I abhor quasi psychological narrative mixed in with pure conjecture. The only way this book would be any good is if it was used to start a fire
Anna Larson
Oct 27, 2011 Anna Larson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-novels
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
Jul 18, 2011 Corny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
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
May 09, 2013 Tom Jenckes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2015 Nico rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Spoiler Alerts: Again Simon Vance performs a wonderful narration, using different vocal qualities to help distinguish between characters, and their personalities. Vance deserves 5 stars. As far as this particular Nordic Noir, I did run into problems with Nesser's work. I am used to the macabre nature of Nordic Noir, dark, and often disturbing. This however, dealt with: death and rape of children, and at the end of the story a few sentences are spent on a little more graphic detail of the perpetr ...more
Jon Frum
Dec 15, 2014 Jon Frum rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two stars means 'it was OK.' And it was, but nothing better than OK. With only two stars, I need to focus on the negative, but first I need to make a point. Multiple reviews here state that this series is set in Sweden. It is not. Nesser is Swedish, but the surnames and place names used in the book are, for the most part, not. The series is set in an imaginary northern European country. Place names are frequently in Dutch, German, or a Scandinavian language. Many surnames are Dutch or German, wi ...more
Kitten Kisser
There is potential here for a better story. The characters are too dark & depressing. There is little joy or humor in anyone. This lack of any emotion other than depressed, angry, supressed people made it hard to relate with the characters. Even in the worst of times, people will use humor to help deal with difficult situations. It would have made the characters more human; more alive.

The story of the crime & who did it is very good & it was the crime that held up the book. The good
Tim Swift
Mar 07, 2014 Tim Swift rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 24, 2014 Pablos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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
Nov 18, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this. These are not quite like other detective stories (you rather lose track of the "whodunnit" bit or perhaps that is just me!) Anyway, the detective Van Veeteren is considering leaving the police altogether, but he agrees to go to a rural area near a lake to help in a case where the police chief is on holiday. An anonymous tip-off suggests that a girl has gone missing from a religious summer camp and has come to harm: we have good reason to suspect that this is true (having seen the g ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Weaverannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
De kaft van een boek bestudeer ik meestal niet echt, maar in dit geval fascineerde hij me. Die hand. Voor of achter die mond? Van wie is die hand? Van het meisje zelf, of van iemand anders, die haar wil laten zwijgen?
Dit is precies, waar dit boek over gaat.
Er is een zomerkamp in een afgelegen plaats in Zweden. Het is er mooi. De deelnemers van het kamp zijn allemaal meisjes van 12 jaar en iets ouder. De leiding wordt gevormd door drie, in naturelkleurige gewaden gestoken dames en een wat onduide
I found myself skipping through the pages and pages of tedious conversation between Van Veeteren, a man in dire need of a personality transplant, and his colleagues. Van Veeteren is a grumpy old man who likes to chew on toothpicks. I am sick of reading crime novels with grumpy police in them. I wouldn't mind, but there's no other aspects of personality present other than being grumpy. This series is pretty old, so Nesser could possibly be the pioneer of this personality trait I despise so much. ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Pascale rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 15, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the lazy days of summer and Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is looking forward to a Greek holiday when he receives a call from the Acting Chief of Police Kluuge in small town Sorbinowo. An anonymous caller has reported a girl missing from a religious retreat. Kluuge is not receiving any cooperation from the leader of this mysterious sect and requests Van Veeteren's help. Before long the case becomes a murder investigation.

Hakan Nesser's books are not for readers looking for a pulse pounding ad
Bev Taylor
Mar 04, 2015 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
an inspector van veeteren mystery - very similar in character to inspector lynley

a woman phones to say a girl is missing from a camp for young girls of a religious sect. they deny this. then a few days later she phones again to ask why they have done nothing

a girl is after found raped and murdered and the public pressure to solve the case increases. but all questions to the sect r met with silence ....

then another girl is found dead and also the founder is missing,

van veeteren must now rely o
David Lowther
The Inspector and Silence was very much OK. This is the fifth Van Veeteren tale I've read and, although the plot was different from the previous four, the feel was just the same. Van Veeteren must be the most laid back cop ever. Predictably he comes with a mountain of baggage; failed marriage, uncertainty about health and his job and, at times, lack of self-confidence, but he always gets his man (or woman) and his junior colleagues forgive his sometimes odd behaviour knowing that in due course h ...more
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've only read one of this series ( "Woman with Birthmark" ) before & as it was quite sometime ago it took me a while to familiarise myself & recall Van Veeteren's colleagues. The story moves at a steady pace, not that slow that it got monotonous but maybe it could have done with a bit more action at times. That said, the slower pace & reflective style fits Van Veeteren's personality & despite the vicious crime the lack of blood & gore was quite pleasant for a change! There's ...more
Amit Tiwary
Jul 27, 2015 Amit Tiwary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
Part guessable but still a great read. Built up was so fantastic. You can't put this one down. Fast paced and superbly executed.
Mukundan Srinivasan
3.5 stars actually. This was my debut to the Swedish author and Crime genre as well, and I some what liked it. The book is the 5th of Van Veteran series and I had a lot of trouble to get clear what's going on and to differentiate Swedish's names from places for first few pages. Once the plot opened, it was then like flowing water.

Story is based on thin and a common story line used for crime subjects. A secret & mysterious sect, A missing girl, a girl murdered, anonymous phone calls.... But t
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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 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)
  • The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • 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)

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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”
“The word came into her mind just as quickly as it had done yesterday. “Crap.” She hadn’t been able to hold it back then—it had flown out of her mouth like an angry and hotheaded little swallow, and in a flash it had changed into a big cloud.” 0 likes
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