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Mind's Eye

(Inspector Van Veeteren #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  9,959 ratings  ·  766 reviews
The highly anticipated first novel in the Inspector Van Veeteren series in now available in English. At last, American readers will be able to enjoy, from its very beginnings, this addictive series by one of Europe’s most beloved and best-selling crime writers.

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knew that murder cases were never as open-and-shut as this one: Janek Mitter woke one
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Pantheon Books (first published 1993)
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Claudia Yes, if you like crime stories or mysteries. I couldn't put it down.

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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  9,959 ratings  ·  766 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nordic-noir
Inspector Van Veeteren

“His face was crisscrossed by small blue veins, many of them burst, and his expression was reminiscent of a petrified bloodhound. The only thing that moved was the toothpick, which wandered slowly from one side of his mouth to the other. He could talk without moving his lips, read without moving his eyes, yawn without moving his mouth. He was much more of a mummy than a person made up of flesh and blood.”

“But beyond doubt a very efficient police officer.”

Janek Mitter marrie
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A surprisingly good and well-written murder mystery.

For fans of Scandinavian crime fiction, Hakan Nesser should be on a short list of favorites. The first book in the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series, The Mind’s Eye was first published in Sweden in 1993 as Det grovmaskiga nätet. This was good enough for Nesser to be awarded the 1993 Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Prize for new authors.

Crime fiction is like a salesman - the lead detective, typically the writer’s protagonist, must sell the stor
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was on a cruise last year and sat with a Swedish couple for dinner one night. I mentioned that I liked to read mysteries and had read books by 2 Swedish authors, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. He recommended that I read books by Hakan Nesser. I am pleased that I followed his recommendation.
This is book 1 in the series and I enjoyed it. It is a psychological mystery with Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren solving the mystery by deductive reasoning and following clues. There is very li
James Thane
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the book that introduced Swedish Inspector Van Veeteren.

After a drunken night of love-making, Janek Mitter awakens to find his wife drowned in the bathtub, and Mitter has absolutely no recollection of what might have happened. Van Veeteren is not completely certain that Mitter is guilty of the murder, but with the evidence stacked against him and no real defense, Mitter is convicted and sent to a mental institution.

After some time in the institution, Mitter is brutally murdered, and Van
Rachel Hall
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite being the first official novel in the Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren series, The Mind's Eye was not published in the UK until after outings two and three, hence many readers found it a little disconcerting to come to this first offering belatedly. Thankfully, despite having encountered Van Veeteren in a much later novel, I have the privilege of meeting the frequently irascible and perennially grouchy detective from his initial starting point. Although this first case is not the m ...more
Marsena Adams-Dufresne
Jul 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have enjoyed other Scandinavian murder mysteries so much that I was happy to discover Nesser's Inspector Van Veeteren series (of which this book is one). I've read three of his books now and there are many things about them that I don't like. For one, I was disappointed to find that Nesser's writing doesn't evoke a strong sense of place for me, which is something I have found compelling about other Scandinavian authors. I also really disliked Inspector Van Veeteren as a character; although he ...more
I loved Mind's Eye by Håkan Nesser, the first in the Swedish crime series featuring Inspector Van Veeteren, the grumpy, cynical, aging detective who has a stinging sense of humor. In fact, although I'm an incorrigible multi-book reader, I found myself unable to read anything else until I finished this book (a rare event that I always hope for). The character of Van Veeteren is the primary attraction but the other characters are all seamlessly drawn and the plot is well-paced and absorbing. I can ...more
Sheila Beaumont
I have already read a stand-alone by Hakan Nesser, which I loved, but this is the first of his Chief Inspector Van Veeteren mysteries I've read.

This book, the first in the series, does an excellent job of introducing the chief inspector. At first, I thought, oh no, yet another depressed Scandinavian detective? But Van Veeteren is more complex and more interesting than that. He has a sense of humor, even about himself.

In this mystery, our detective seems to operate almost entirely by intuition, a
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a slow starter. It seemed so predictable in the beginning it had me fooled. After 50-60 pages the story got more speed, it held my attention till the end. I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
Paul Secor
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars - upgraded to four

A good Scandinavian police procedural/mystery, not at the level of Henning Mankell's Wallander novels, but this is the first book in a series, so I'll probably read another Van Veeteren and see how that goes.
I truly love nordic noir so it is difficult for me not to adore all mysteries and crime novels that come out in this genre, however, Mind's Eye was a challenge for me. The storyline was very good, the details were excellent. I really liked the main character and would enjoy getting to know him better. What was most difficult was Hakan Nesser's writing style. It was very disjointed and scattered as though he got lost in his own thought process and didn't know where to go next. At one point his ch ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There will be absolutely no hint of spoilers in Nesser reviews from me! I found Nesser books after running out of Karin Fossum books to read. Nesser's writing is excellent and does an unbelievable job at sucking the reader in to the twisted story being laid out. For some reason, in the majority of Scandanavian mystery writers I have found, their ability to do that is second to no other countries mystery writers. The only criticism I have is that I am not happy about with Nesser's books is that i ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gifted Scandinavian curmudgeon depressed detective .... it's deja vu all over again. I read the imitators first; this is one of the originals. Good read.....not sure it was supposed to be funny, but I laughed quite a bit. I can see myself getting hooked on the series.
Nancy Oakes
This is actually the first installment in the series featuring Inspector Van Veeteren, set in Sweden, and it is a good one. I really love Nesser's books, having read the first three in the series so far (Mind's Eye, Borkmann's Point, The Return). In this debut (and you'll never believe it's the first of a series, it's that good), Van Veeteren takes the case of Janek Mitter, who wakes up one morning after a night of heavy drinking to find his wife Eva in the bathtub, dead. The only suspect is Mit ...more
This book has an intriguing start. A man wakes up from a drunken stupor to find his wife dead in the bath tub. He has no memory of the night before. He phones the police and cleans the apartment. He is suspected to be the murderer by the police and is convicted of the crime. He himself is later murdered while imprisoned.

Although many people are interviewed no solid leads form because no one knows much about the murder victims. No leads at all and the book drifts from interviews of people who kn
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good page turner with strong characterization (the protagonist Chief Inspector). Funny at some parts, too! Didn't see the end coming. I'd truly recommend this to anyone who likes crime and mystery fiction.
Deb Jones
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Detective Inspector Van Veeteren series set in Sweden; a police procedural.

A man who has no memory of the night his wife was drowned in their bathtub at home is quickly convicted of her wrongful death, a case in which Van Veeteren figured prominently. Something about the case -- perhaps its lack of solid evidence -- sits wrong with the detective whose aim is justice rather than simply numbers of solved cases. Van Veeteren prides himself on his ability to read people
Iryna *Book and Sword*
3.5/5 stars

Like I've said before - a good mystery book shouldn't be longer than 300 pages. In this case 288 was perfectly enough.

I picked Mind's Eye randomly in a second hand book shop because the cover and then a description caught my eye. It being written by a Swedish author was a gigantic plus because 2018 is a year in which I'm trying to read a lot of foreign authors. Speaking of foreign, the translation for this was superb - really, really enjoyed it.

As it usually goes with mystery novel
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysterious
There is something in the water in those Scandinavian countries, perhaps leakage from Iceland. The hype about the various mystery writers from Sweden, Norway and Finland is no joke - much like the denizens of Reykjavik, there is something about the northern latitudes that is extremely conducive to a journey into a dark and deep mystery.

My first introduction to this kind of writing was 'Jar City', which itself was well introduced to me by its movie adaptation. When I saw 'Mind's Eye' on the libra
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Schoolteacher Janek Mitter wakes up one morning to a crushing hangover, the realization that he's suffering a memory blackout, and the discovery that his wife of just three months, Eva, has been drowned in the bathtub behind a bolted door. There's no evidence that anyone else but the two of them was in the apartment the previous night, and so Janek, still with that gaping hole in his memory, is arrested, tried and convicted, even though he's certain he couldn't have killed his beloved Eva . . .

Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
PROTAGONIST: Chief Inspector Van Veeteren
SETTING: Scandinavia (a country like Sweden)
SERIES: #1 of 10
WHY: The Mind's Eye introduces Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, a decidedly unique character whose intuition is his main investigative tool. Teacher Janek Mitter drank too much and awoke to find his wife, Eva, drowned in the bathtub. He is imprisoned in a mental institution and subsequently murdered. The plot is quite complex, but there is subtle humor underneath the grimness. The book wi
Oana M.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This book from Hakan Nesser makes me want to read more books from him. And because it's the first one in Inspector Van Veeteren series, I started well.

What it looks like an isolated crime case, it soon begins to look like a real investigation in which many suspects are being interrogated by the police. And when the man found guilty for the murder is killed himself, Inspector Van Veeteren begins to wonder about their mistakes and to search for the real cold blood killer.

A swedish thriller that d
Rowena Hoseason
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book started off brilliantly with a mystifying mystery of the locked room tradition: a drowned wife in a locked bathroom, the husband so inebriated he could only remember their wild festivity of the night before… and not how it ended.
He’s convinced that he didn’t kill her but the police and courts are not.

Before the story is more than a third through we’re at the point where most police procedurals end – with his conviction and incarceration. But Van Veeteren, a detective prone to inspired
I borrowed Hakan Nesser's The Mind's Eye from the library for inclusion in my year-long Reading the World project. I hadn't heard of it before, but I count myself as a fan of Nordic Noir, and thought it might be just the thing to read on a cold winter's night. This volume has been translated from its original Swedish by Laurie Thompson, and was first published in Sweden in 1993; the author was victorious in the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy Prize for it, and subsequently won other prestigious a ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mind's Eye is Nesser's first novel in the Inspector Van Veeteren series. Nesser is a Sweedish crime novelist who won The Best Swedish Crime Novel award three times. He is also the author of the Inspector Barbarotti series, various other fiction and nonfiction novels, and screenplays.

The book started off fast, slowed down a little, picked back up, then slowed down again toward the end. It wasn't a fast paced thriller like some other crime novels I've read recently but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thi
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
This seems to be a common pattern that foreign detective novels from a series are translated out of order - several other Inspector Van Veeteren novels came out in English before this one. Thus the book, set in the "current day" is now describing a Sweden of almost twenty years ago.

Presumably publishers do this (out of order) because they decide that one of the later titles is more compelling for an English speaking audience - and that the first one is weaker. It certainly seems possible in this
Linda  Branham Greenwell
The mystery begins when Janek Mitter awakens one morning, and finds his wife dead in the bathtub. He remembers nothing. But, Janek of course is the chief suspect. The police have no other viable suspects and Janek's suspicious behavior makes it look like and open and shut case. Certainly Inspector Van Veeteren thinks so. After all who could believe Janek's convenient loss of memory as to what happened that fateful night because he drank too much at dinner?
Van Veeteren is the main character - an
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nesser writes one of my favorite mystery series. I've been reading these out of chronological order because often times books that are translated to English are done in order of popularity. The first of the series was only recently released. It was nice to finally read # 1. It didn't really seem like it was opening any new doors of understanding or provide much background. All of the characters were just as they are in his later books. This book did seem to have a bit more of a psycho-sexual edg ...more
A Man Called Ove
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 This was my first book by Hakan Nesser. Another Scandinavian police procedural but with a different plot. The first half with the courtroom scenes was quite good and also different from the usual police procedural. Will have to revisit the second half as the ending was quite abrupt.
Will surely be picking up one by him soon.
Wonderfully complex mystery with many layers and points of view. Van Veeteren has to peel back the layers of Eva Mitter's life to discover who murdered both Eva and her husband.
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Van Veeteren (10 books)
  • Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2)
  • The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • 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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