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(A-gruppen/Intercrime #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,020 ratings  ·  311 reviews
Kaum ist Paul Hjelm, Inspektor der Stockholmer Polizei, zur Sondereinheit für besonders schwierige Fälle berufen worden, da hat er es schon mit einem kaltblütigen Serienmörder zu tun: drei unbescholtene Geschäftsleute – hingerichtet mit Kopfschüssen aus nächster Nähe, nach einem präzisen Ritual. Eine erste Spur, die zu einer Geheimloge führt, erweist sich als Sackgasse. Is ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Piper Taschenbuch (first published 1999)
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Mike Cuthbert Published in the US by Vintage Books, a subsidiary of Random House

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Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Misterioso by Arne Dahl is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization. On the surface, it is a mystery but so much of the novel lies below the surface, getting into the characters' minds and thoughts as they live their lives and work at trying to catch a serial killer.

The title of the book comes from a piece of music composed by Thelonius Mon
Detective Paul Hjelm finds himself in a hostage situation, and for the first time in his life, shoots someone, after feigning being unarmed. Hailed as a hero by the press, his tactics are under review by the police department; however, he is asked to join a task force of misfits to capture someone who is methodically killing high-profile business leaders in Sweden: breaking into their homes at night, listening to Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic Misterioso, and firing two bullets into their heads, ...more
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amazon Vine
Recommended to Katy by: Fans of thrillers, mystery and suspense
Shelves: vine-book
Please Note: I read and reviewed this book in May, 2011 from a copy I received from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. Just adding formatting and that disclosure. All opinions are my own.

About the Book: Misterioso is the first in the A-Group series from Arne Dahl, a published author in his native Sweden. You can tell he is an experienced writer by how smoothly this story runs, and by how it sucks you in and keeps you in. Originally published in 1999 in Sweden, it has now b
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Been to long since I've read swedish crime novels, I am from Sweden after all. This was a decent example of a good crime novel. Found the plot moved with a good pace and was interesting enough to stay motivated to read. Was not the greatest but will definitely read more in this series, was compelling enough ...more
Nancy Oakes
Between a 3.5 and a 3.75, rounded up.

Misterioso is very different from normal Scandinavian crime fare, but still good. I liked it, with a couple of reservations (see below).

Misterioso is another fine example of Scandinavian crime fiction, this time more of a police procedural with a few twists and turns along the way. There is definitely no measure of cutesiness to be found in this book -- it's police work through and through, and some of the scenes are a bit violent. At the end of the book, the

This is a police proceedural crime novel. The story is about a special team that is assembled to find out who is killing prominent businessmen in Sweden. I enjoyed the beginning & ending of the story, but found the middle just too dry. The crime team spent quite a bit of time examining each of victims' connections to each other through their corporations, subsidiaries & holding companies, along with the boards they sat on, and on their potential connections to the Russian &Estonian mafia.

The num
Paul Secor
Too many characters and a plot with too many convolutions.

Jazz fans may have an interest in reading this because Thelonious Monk's 1958 Five Spot recording of "Misterioso" (with a bootlegged addition) plays a part in the book. I have the feeling that Arne Dahl is a jazz fan who used his musical interests as a part of the novel, though I could be way off base about that. It did seem a bit far fetched to me that two police officers would have the same interest, but perhaps I just don't know enoug
Misterioso. by Arne Dahl is the first in a Swedish series called "The A-Team." Despite this (to me) somewhat unfortunate name, the book is interesting and suspenseful. I found, however, the first part of the book which follows the hero, Peter Hjelm, who rockets to hero when resolving a hostage drama to villain (the hostage-taker was an immigrant which leads to charges of prejudice on the part of Hjelm) back to hero as he is hand-picked to be a part of a team formed to track down a serial killer ...more
Jim Fonseca
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: swedish-authors
Someone is knocking off Sweden’s most rich and powerful men, one by one. Who is doing it and what is the connection among these men? Whoever it is leaves no clues behind and even removes the bullets. The only thing we know is that the person listens to a tape of Theloneous Monk’s jazz piece of the book’s title. As the case gets solved we follow several detectives and learn a bit about their personal lives. A good read.
Cathy DuPont
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No...I'm not turning into a Scandinavian groupie but it's sure looking like it.

I read "Bad Blood" which was excellent giving it five stars and this one was great as well. However, as seen by the four stars, didn't blow me out of the water like "Bad Blood."

If you haven't put your toe into this genre of writing, it might be time.
Bruce Hatton
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swedish-crime
A gripping and occasionally hilarious thriller about a disparate group of dedicated but eccentric police officers and their attempts to catch a bizarre serial killer. Nordic Noir with a distinct twist of black humour.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Scandinavian fiction in all its wordweary bleakness. Though I haven’t ready any in some time, I did read a very good book tracking the author’s obsession with the genre and this book had the distinction of being both her recommendations’ list and available digitally at the library. So, of course, I read it. Set in Sweden in the 1990s, the date mentioned weirdly surreptitiously mid chapter one, in the aftermath of a financial crisis eerily reminiscent of USA’s own 2008 nightmare, the plot ...more
Julian King
I've just finished this, and I have to admit I'm quite breathless: the momentum in the last quarter is genuinely exhilarating!

I daresay this will make an excellent TV series (on BBC4, from Spring 2013), primarily due to its references to fashionable concerns like the banking crisis, thrilling action sequences, the absence of overly repulsive violence, the presence of (more or less) tasteful sex etc. Also, the extremely sketchily drawn characters (or should I say symbolic ciphers?) can perhaps be
Nick Davies
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Another Nordic crime author given a go to impress me, but another disappointment. Some of this was due to the author's/translator's (and my) inability to delineate various names of characters and places, with the consequence that I lost track of who was Hjelde, who was Hedeberg, who was Hanssen, and whether they had spoken to Henriksson or Holmgren in Halmstad, Helsingborg or Huskvana? A larger part was due to this rendering a complicated storyline (businessmen are being shot by a jazz-loving mu ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This almost escaped my Scandinavian crime radar but I’m jolly glad it didn’t as I thoroughly enjoyed this taut and well-written thriller. This is the first of Dahl’s Intercrime series to hit British shelves (previously published as ‘Misterioso’ in reference to the killer’s particular use of background music) with the follow-up ‘Bad Blood’ due for release next year. Billed as Henning Mankell meets ‘The Wire’, an elite group of detectives strive to uncover the identity of a killer unceremoniously ...more
Florence Wetzel
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great thriller that manages to interweave Thelonious Monk!
Continuing my dive into Nordic Noir authors that are new to me, I jumped into Arne Dahl's Misterioso, which is a workmanlike policier with a few interesting wrinkles. The protagonist is Paul Hjelm, a detective in a suburban Stockholm district who seems to be about to lose his job after a controversial intervention into a hostage situation with an angry immigrant. Along with a rogue's gallery of other police misfits, Hjelm joins an elite unite formed in reaction to the assassination-style deaths ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be quite long and complicated (much like a real serial killer investigation I would imagine) so it was easy to lose the thread when I put the book down, although I found it interesting. I thought the plot was clever and intricate with realistic meanderings after false clues and down blind alleys, but, as I've said, it could get confusing. I also liked the idea behind the A-Team - bring in top outsiders, unemcumbered by current HQ politics and with no allegiances to maintain ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I realised after I began reading this that I had seen the TV adaptation and I’m sorry to say that was a darn sight better than the book. There were so many characters that my head was spinning I was so confused. There was a lot going on in the story too that I lost my way with that too. Murder aplenty, Russian mob, rape, finance and jazz. Yes jazz. I don’t like jazz probably because I don’t understand it and I skim read those bits as I had no interest. In fact, quite honestly I skim read most of ...more
Barbara Talbott
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
An exciting mystery pitting a serial murderer against a special police division called the A Unit. The murderer is killing high-profile business leaders, while listening to a recording of Thelonious Monk's jazz classic "Misterioso". The only problem I had was keeping the names straight, especially since they were Swedish names. Still a gripping book. ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it a lot but none of the members of the A-Unit made a strong impression on me. Maybe in the following books it will get easier to engage with them and not just the case.
There's always been a steady stream of quality Swedish crime fiction in English translation, dating back to the Martin Beck series of the mid-1960s to mid-1970s through the Wallander series of the 1990s and newer writers like Helen Tursten's D.I. Huss series. However, the blockbuster success of the Steig Larsson trilogy turned that steady stream into a gushing torrent of books seeking to be the next Swedish hit. Unfortunately, this book (the first of a trilogy) is just not that good.

It opens wit
Sep 11, 2011 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Really disgusting scene in the first chapter (not gruesome just gross) that had nothing to do with any investigation: (view spoiler) ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nordic police detectives portrayed in crime fiction set in Scandinavia are a dour and conflicted bunch of people. Paul Hjelm in Arne Dahl's "Misterioso" is no different from the rest. He and his wife are like strangers occupying the same house and his teenage children seem more remote and alienated every day. Good thing there is a maniac killing the capitalist elite of Sweden, following a timetable that only he knows and doing his killing to the strains of a jazz classic by Thelonius Monk. He is ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book came to me highly recommended, so I was surprised by how underwhelmed I was. It has some good points and some vivid images, not least the one set up in the first few pages -- and the book's premise is excellent -- but I found the writing for the most part unbearably cumbrous (and sometimes worse than that), the plotting sloppy, the pacing sloppier, the characterization infantile (and, oh God, spare me the bloody awful sex bits, one of which was so richly implausible that it had me pumm ...more
I spent the whole book thinking I wasn't quite getting the plot, which dispatched with any suspense which might otherwise have built. It's also a very masculine novel, perhaps that's deliberate, perhaps it's the translation. And too many cliches. It was recommended by a friend and I wanted to love it but... Anyway, I'm going to try the next one in the intercrime thriller series and try to concentrate a bit harder on the plot. ...more
Razvan Banciu
A surprisingly good one, with a certain pattern, that of a thorough description of the investigations, step by step, almost like in a technical report.
The few first pages are not the most inspired ones and that's a pity, as some readers might quit, the story is perhaps a bit too long, some anatomical behaviors and detalis seem to me surplus, but the story is ok, the characters are true enough and and arouse your empathy.
That's the sign of a good book...
Diane S ☔
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 This one is a little different than the other Nordic offerings. Not so much a mystery as a solid police procedural, great development of characters though. Will definitely be reading more from this author.
Lukasz Pruski
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good read! 4.5 stars in my book. Reminded me of Sjowall/Wahloo series from the Seventies, with their relentless critique of capitalism *and* socialism. A very good police procedural.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think the problem is more me than the book. This was pretty dark and I had a hard time caring about the characters.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please fix the different editions in this series 1 18 Dec 23, 2014 11:44AM  
English Translati...: Misterioso by Arne Dahl is our 1st read for March 2012 10 38 Mar 30, 2012 10:21AM  
Scandinavian Myst...: Arne Dahl 1 15 Feb 05, 2012 03:00PM  
Scandinavian Myst...: Arne Dahl 2 15 Oct 04, 2011 06:11AM  

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Arne Dahl is the pen name of Jan Arnald, an internationally known Swedish crime author and literary critic.

His writing can also be seen in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. He published Barbarer (2001) and Maria och Artur (2006) under his own name, but under his pseudonym he has written the A-gruppen (Intercrime) series, involving the A-team, a group highly trained in dealing with criminal ca

Other books in the series

A-gruppen/Intercrime (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Bad Blood (Intercrime, #2)
  • Upp till toppen av berget (A-gruppen, #3)
  • Europa blues (A-gruppen, #4)
  • De största vatten (A-gruppen, #5)
  • En midsommarnattsdröm (A-gruppen, #6)
  • Dödsmässa (A-gruppen, #7)
  • Mörkertal (A-gruppen, #8)
  • Efterskalv (A-gruppen, #9)
  • Himmelsöga (A-gruppen, #10)
  • Elva (A-gruppen, #11)

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