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The Inspector and Silence

(Inspector Van Veeteren #5)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  3,795 ratings  ·  299 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.

Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,795 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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Rachel Hall
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Labouring under the perpetually draining heat of a stifling summer in Maardam, a jaded and typically morose Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is clearly in the autumn of his career and contemplating retirement more seriously than ever before. Approaching sixty and with thirty-five-years service in the bag the advertisement offering a potential partnership in Krantze's antiquarian bookshop and more time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, which for introspective Van Veeteren include beer, playing c ...more
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
Deb Jones
Author Hakan Nesser can do no wrong in my eyes in the Inspector Van Veeteren series. As always, the inspector is introspective, but especially so in this, the fifth in this series of books.

"VV" as many of his fellow detectives refer to him, is again considering retirement from the police force, but this time with an actual plan in place. Meanwhile, he is embroiled in an investigation into the murder(s) of adolescent girls who are part of a minor religious sect.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1.5 - Meh (rounded to 2 stars on GR because I’ve read worse)

I bought this book at a local book sale, so I had zero expectations going in. I’m not disappointed in the low rating because I hadn’t heard of the book until I bought it a few weeks back.

The Inspector and Silence tells the story of Inspector Van Veeteren, a Swedish detective, as he tries to solve a case involving the Pure Life — a religious cult. Unbeknownst to me when I bought it, this book is number five out of ten in a seri/>The
Oct 07, 2011 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
Janet Richards
Jul 24, 2011 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.
Apr 14, 2011 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 expec
Jun 04, 2011 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” sig
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
Feb 23, 2013 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 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice to get back to this excellent series. Dark thriller with lots of introspection, interesting characters, and good humor.

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 Po
Anna Larson
Oct 09, 2011 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
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.
Fredrick Danysh
Inspector Van Veeteren is getting ready for vacation and thinking about retirement when he receives a call out to investigate a reported missing girl and a religious cult in a semi-rural area. Soon it becomes a murder investigation.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down. I did guess the right person in the beginning though. But how it all tied up together, was not what I expected...
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first reading of this author and I very much liked his writing style. Another reviewer suggested new readers of Nesser NOT start with this book because it's a departure from the other Van Veeteren novels. I'm glad I saw that, because this was a v e r y s l o w read, and I probably wouldn't be interested in trying another because of that. Everything took too long and the ending was over in a flash. Still, I will read another because I very much liked the characters and the understated ...more
Laura C.
Aug 11, 2012 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
Tom Jenckes
Feb 23, 2012 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
Jan Greer
Jul 23, 2015 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
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
I have heard rave reviews about this series but had never read any. I'm hooked. I love the subtle approach to mystery solving.
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.
Amit Tiwary
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Melissa Embry
All Chief Inspector Van Veeteren wants at the beginning of Håkan Nesser’s 1997 The Inspector and Silence is a quiet vacation with a chance to chat up an interesting woman, who he met, not coincidentally, during his investigation of her husband’s murder. Followed, perhaps, by an even quieter retirement as the owner of a local second-hand bookshop. He definitely doesn’t want the complication of a new criminal investigation. But when a police chief in a summer resort town calls in a favor a few day ...more
Mike Cuthbert
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Van Veeteren is contemplating many things in this novel: a vacation in Greece with a beautiful woman of his acquaintance, retirement from the police and the murder and rape of two young girls, both of whom belong to a cult called Pure Life. The ingredients of the novel are almost perfectly reflective of major themes in all Norse noir that I have been reading: there is profound despair in the officers trying to solve vicious murders, a healthy intake of alcohol and the vicious murders t ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the second book I’ve read of Nesser’ Stockholm detectives, and of course I’ve read them out of order, In this one Chief Inspector Van Veerteren is still in power, but he has split from his wife, who still tries to pressure him to come to family vacations, and he is dreaming of a vacation in Crete, and he might accidentally meet a women, he met in an investigation with brunette hair. An acting chief inspector, Klunge, in a rural area, Sorbinowo, has Van Veerteren’s name, from a chance enc
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like the hero of this series Inspector van Veeteren and he ticks all the boxes for the archetypal grumpy police detective which I love, that probably says more about me than anything else.
In this story the Inspector is fed up with his job and his ex wifes manipulations and in a hot Summer he contemplates a solo summer holiday to Greece and packing his job in for taking over a second hand bookshop (my ideal if I win the lottery). However he is seconded to help a temporary police chief in an
May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a crime novel, there was little action. A cult, missing girls, dead bodies, all promising but the whole thing went no where. Inspector Van Veeteren spends most of his time eating, drinking, and ruminating on his case in solitude. Overall the outcome was predictable, even though the killer was not revealed until the last ten pages or so. There was no suspense, edge of your seat stuff. In addition, the fact that this book was originally written in Swedish then translated to English, in some pl ...more
Arctic Tree Frog
This was my first Van Veeteran book and I thought it was terrible. It may have been a poor translation, but even so, the story was thin.

Right from the start there were too many characters introduced which weren’t dissimilar enough to differentiate.
The discussion between the characters and the narrative kept stopping, as in a question was asked and there was no answer and the narrative jumped somewhere else. I wasn’t sure if this was style, choppy editing or bad translation, but
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add details to ISBN 9788770532822 2 10 Feb 09, 2017 07:56AM  

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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

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

M. Barin, poet”
“Reason has an elder sister, never forget that. She’s called Intuition.” 0 likes
More quotes…