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Woman with Birthmark: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  3,607 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
International Bestseller 

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is on the case once more in this breathless thriller of deception, blackmail, and cold murder.
Van Veeteren and his associates are left bewildered by the curious murder of a man shot twice in the heart and twice below the belt. An utterly dull man, the only suspicious activity his surviving wife can report is a series o
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nancy Oakes
Hakan Nesser is another one of my all-time favorite writers of Scandinavian crime fiction. Woman With Birthmark is #4 in this series featuring Inspector Van Veeteren, a veteran detective in Maardam, whose location remains a mystery in itself. These books you can read as stand-alone novels, but there's always a plus to reading a series in order.

A solitary mourner at a funeral is at the heart of a baffling series of crimes. A young woman made a death-bed promise to her mother and has cleared the
May 05, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Henning Mankell fans
Recommended to Stephen by: Angie Howard
You must be a fan of the police procedural genre of mystery fiction to read Hakan Nesser. I'll go one further and say you have to be a fan of Scandinavian gloom as it effects the characters and the plot. If you read and enjoyed Henning Mankell, then you know exactly what I mean. The atmosphere is somehting altogether different from a book set almost anywhere else on the planet.

Also, you are reading in translation. Yes, I know, all translators are traitors, but without them we wouldn't have half
May 06, 2009 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nesser, Hakan. WOMAN WITH BIRTHMARK. (1996, U.S.-2009). *****. This is the latest mystery in the author’s Inspecter Van Veeteren series. I’ve only read one other novel by Hakan, “Borkmann”s Point,” and thought it was terrific. This one was, too. The writing is very simple; clear and lucid. The plot moves ahead relentlessly, as we follow the action through the actions and thoughts of Van Veeteren and his crew. The story starts out with a mother’s dying wish to her daughter. We can’t hear the wish ...more
Mark Stevens
Nov 01, 2010 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shadows’ “The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt” (a gem of an instrumental) plays a key role in “Woman With Birthmark.” Like that song, there’s something clean, effortless and neatly scripted about Nesser’s plot, too. The song is played over the telephone by a woman stalking various men—men who later are shot in violent and intentionally up-close-and-personal ways. Also like that song, the feeling of reading this is light and airy. There’s a nice build and a nifty crescendo. Nesser shifts point ...more
Sep 10, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: september-11
The book opens with a woman standing in a cemetry, a lone mourner at her mother's funeral. A man is then shot twice in his chest and twice below the belt following a series of phone calls where nothing is said but music is played down the line. Shortly after a second man, seeminly unconnected is killed in the same way.

Inspector Van Veeteren is struggling with a cold but must find some sort of connection between the two men before someone else dies. This book switches between the viewpoint of the
Maria João Fernandes
"Há males que vêm por bem."

Depois de mais de 30 anos, um segredo horrível vai, finalmente, ser desvendado. Será agora feita a justiça, que foi ignorada no passado?

O quarto livro da série do Inspector Van Veeteren começa com um funeral de uma mulher, ao qual apenas a sua solitária filha assiste. Dias antes do Natal, ao lado da campa da sua mãe, a mulher de 29 anos reflecte sobre a vida miserável da progenitora, tão semelhante à sua, e promete vingança àqueles que considera responsáveis pelos dois
Mar 10, 2012 Mysterytribune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woman with Birthmark (or in Swedish "Kvinna med födelsemärke") is a 1996 novel by Håkan Nesser, which won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in the same year. The English translation of the book was released in 2009 at the time when there was a Swedish Crime Fiction hype in the market. The book has also found its way into Television and a Swedish mini-series covered the novel in 2001.

A brief Summary:

Inspector Van Veeteren and his associates are left bewildered by the curious murder of a man shot

Woman with Birthmark
Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery, March 15, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: Woman with Birthmark (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (Paperback)
I've read all of the books in the Van Veeteren series and find that this Scandinavian author is a master among mystery masters. This particular book is no different-spellbinding and intense. I read this book on my Kindle.

The author begins by bringing the reader to a cemetary where an internment is takin
Jun 20, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish crime novels are all the rage. This is a departure from my usual Italian mysteries but I became familiar with Chief Inspector Van Veeteren by watching international mysteries on TV. The auther, Haken Nesser, depicts Van Veeteren as a thoughtful and dutiful dectective in the last few years of his work. Indeed, in some stories he has retired to running a book store but can't give up the investigation work...much to the chagrin of his former subordinates. This is the first book I've read fr ...more
Jim Coughenour
A few months ago it was the girl with the dragon tattoo. Now there's a woman with a birthmark. Is this a Swedish sub-genre?

I'm enjoyed this one more than Mind's Eye. There not much of a mystery here, and the crimes are more observed than solved - so it's not much of a policier either. The pleasure is all in the writing - especially in the mildly morose character of Van Veeteran. I still prefer Håkan Nesser to most American writers. Maybe I'm just an American sucker for that world-weary sophistic
Rachel Hall
Oct 29, 2016 Rachel Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

My first venture into the novels of Håkan Nesser was by virtue of the exceptional standalone thriller, The Living and the Dead in Winsford, set in a rural village located in Exmoor and I was struck by the mesmerising prose and how well Nesser tempered the pace to maintain knife-edge tension until the closing moments. From then on I wanted to read more of his novels and came upon Woman with Birthmark, the fourth novel in his now concluded and hugely popular, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren
3 1/2 entretenidas estrellas, pero...

Esto es lo que me ha pasado con esta novela, aunque estoy casi segura de que ello no ha afectado a la nota final: a mi ejemplar, de la biblioteca, le faltaban las ocho (8!) (pen)últimas páginas :O Sí, esa cara se me ha quedado, aunque la cosa ha sido tan surrealista que las páginas perdidas eran de la 292 a la 300 y me dejaron de propina la 301... así que, bueno, no es tan difícil suponer lo que pasaba en las que faltan, teniendo en cuenta el punto al que hab
Woman with Birthmark is the fourth novel in the Inspector Van Veeteren series, but you don’t need to have read the other three to understand everything. At least I haven’t read the rest of the series and I don’t think I missed anything important (or anything at all). Maybe if you know what happens in the previous books you have more insight on the characters, but they are described here as if the reader is meeting them for the first time.

The characters are well written. As is it a group of chara
Jun 03, 2009 Heyhansen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-fiction
Yes. Another swedish crime thriller. Enjoyable, not unlike watching a crime tv show I suppose. But with a title like that I had to read it right?
This time Van Veeteren is after a female killer who is not only way ahead of him but also her prey. A really gloomy story actually, but the way it's offset with light banter and character insights into the police force it feels "light" rather than dark for some reason.
Nov 29, 2013 K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Van Veeteren's character, along with his fellow police officers, are a little bit "Harry Hole Lite." A dark, Nordic tale, well told, but less complex in plot line than that of most Nesbo's work. Still, a bit more humorous throughout, which made for a very enjoyable read. I will read more of this series.
Jul 24, 2014 4cats rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Another great crime reader from Hakan Nesser who deserves a bigger readership. Funny, great plotlines and just super crime novels.
Ken Fredette
I've read this book before and didn't realize it until the final chapters. For those who haven't read this book, I'll not say how it ends.
Amit Tiwary
Jul 02, 2015 Amit Tiwary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
This is another fantastic book by Hakan Nesser. Superb plot! Loved this one too. Lead character VV is very likable and his team is also good. Fantastic characterization.

Tim Freeman
Jul 13, 2016 Tim Freeman rated it really liked it
3 sessions to read this one, so it was quick quality read with all the trappings of a V.V. crime drama
Dec 02, 2009 Kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like this writer and his characters, but as a mystery this one was pretty bad.
Carey Combe
Apr 14, 2010 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So well written can’t believe that I wanted the murderer to succeed!
Jaroslav Dolejš
Super detektivka. Děj je dost akční(místy občas perverzní)a strhující. 5 z 5ti
Dec 28, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
An amazing display with humor, great character sketches, and a tightly woven plot.
Jul 13, 2009 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was pretty predictable and a weak ending.
Trevor Pearson
Over the course of a month there have been a string of murders that have left the Maardem Police Department, and especially Chief Inspector Van Veeteren baffled. What they know is that the victims have been middle-aged men that thirty years prior were members of the 1965 graduating class of the United Services Staff College. They were also harassed by telephone by a who person who said nothing but played a seemingly random song from the 1960's. 35 members of the graduating class 32 remain with 1 ...more
Bonnie Brody
It is right before Christmas and a woman is burying her mother, the only mourner at her grave. She is 29 years old and has lived a miserable life of poverty and addiction. All she has left, once her mother dies, is her own determination, resolve "and the mission". What this mission is, serves as the marrow of this mystery.

Shortly after Christmas, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is trying to solve a difficult crime. A man has been murdered by two shots to the chest and two to his groin. By all accou
Feb 18, 2017 Colette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
terrifying mystery. well written.
May 24, 2014 Erica rated it it was ok
Title: Woman with Birthmark: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Book 4)
Author: Håkan Nesser
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Police Procedural
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
ISBN: 9780307387233
Translation Release Date: March 9, 2010
Rating: 2 1/2
[Read | Skim] [BuyBorrow]

I read the previous Van Veeteren mysteries and I have to say this is my least favorite. Woman with Birthmark is for all intents and purposes a police procedural. It follows the detectives knocking on
THE WOMAN WITH A BIRTHMARK by Hakan Nesser is the fourth instalment in the series of crime novels set in the fictitious city of Maardam, featuring the previously a bit dark and brooding, but a very jolly and witty in this book, Inspector Van Veeteren. The novel starts with a funeral, where a daughter vows to undertake a mission in the memory of her mother. She changes name, takes up a new address and sets the plan in motion. Then we are confronted with a murder, of a seemingly dull businessman. ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Pablos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Od dawna gdzie tylko mam okazję opowiadam jakie to fajne książki pisze Håkan Nesser. Uczciwie przy tym dodaję, że jednak seria o inspektorze Barbarottim jest sporo ciekawsza niż starsze książki o komisarzu Van Veeterenie. Kolejnym tom przygód tego ostatniego utwierdza mnie w moim przekonaniu. Książka jest na pewno inna od większości kryminałów, ale “tego czegoś”, co było obecne w praktycznie każdej z pięciu części serii o Barbarottim tu jednak nie ma.

Håkan Nesser zawsze ma do pokazania ciekawy d
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Scandinavian Crim...: Woman with Birthmark by Håkan Nesser 1 23 Mar 10, 2012 01:12PM  
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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)
  • The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)
  • Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)
  • Hour of the Wolf (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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“He's not so thick, said Reinhart. It's mainly a question of tempo.” 0 likes
“If you are born on the edge of a barrel of shit, you have to accept the likelihood of falling into it now and then.” 0 likes
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