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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 morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months lying facedown in the bathtub, dead. With only the flimsiest excuse as his defense, he is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and imprisoned in a mental institution.

But Van Veeteren’s suspicions about the identity of the killer are borne out when Mitter also becomes a murder victim. Now the chief inspector launches a full-scale investigation of the two slayings. But it may only be the unspoken secrets of the dead–revealed in a mysterious letter that Mitter wrote shortly before his death–that will finally allow Van Veeteren to unmask the killer and expose the shocking root of this sordid violence.

278 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1993

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About the author

Håkan Nesser

108 books995 followers
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 published in 1988, but he worked as a teacher until 1998 when he became a full-time author. In August, 2006, Håkan Nesser and his wife Elke moved to Greenwich Village in New York.

* Inspector Van Veeteren
* Inspector Barbarotti

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 886 reviews
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 2 books247k followers
July 12, 2019
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 married his wife, Eva, because he knew that her womb was wide open and there was blood between her teeth.” In other words, she was a damn fine time. Not that they didn’t argue, but really that was just their way of having a little foreplay. She liked to drink, and she liked to screw. She didn’t even mind if things got a little rough. They were teachers by day and horny, drunk, depressing fools by night.

Now as heartwarming as this story is, I’m afraid that the blissful, befuddled nights of epic bouts of copulation and liver damaging wine guzzling are about to come to a sad and mystifying conclusion. Janek awakes from his inebriated slumbers to find the bathroom door locked from the inside. His wife, Eva, does not respond to his yelling and pounding on the door. He decides to take the door off the hinges because he is worried about Eva, but also, don’t you imagine, because he has to take a monumental piss?

Eva is drowned in the bathtub.

Now that is inconvenient. It is even more inconvenient that he can’t remember a bloody thing. His brain is tracking about as well as a bowl of pickled herrings. Maybe you might even say like pickled RED herrings.

Van Veeteren knows that he doesn’t have the full story of what happened that night. He has niggling concerns that this case is more complicated than it appears. Janek is the worst witness for his own defense. He is a bit of an ass and doesn’t take the trial very seriously.

”I don’t know,” Mitter said, eventually. “I’ve tried to work it out. Empty bottles and so on, you know. Presumably six or seven bottles.”

“Red wine?”

“Yes, red wine. Nothing else.”

“Six or seven bottles between two people? Were you alone all evening?”

“Yes, as far as I recall.”

“Do you have an alcohol problem, Mr. Mitter?”


“Would you be surprised if other people took a different view?”


Ehhh gads man, your liver must look like a red slushy. There is a slam drunk dunk conviction, and Mitter is hauled off to the mental hospital.

Case closed...well...until someone murders Mitter.

Hakan Nessar is one of those very talented Nordic writers that include Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Arnaldur Indridason, to name a few, who all burst on the scene at about the same time. This is the first book in the series, but the third book I’ve read by him. I would have read this one first, but the American publishers decided to release them out of order. The same thing happened to me with Jo Nesbo. I read his third book first, and only recently have I been able to read the first two Harry Hole books. I do like to read books in order, but I do understand that the publishers wanted to bring what they felt was his best book out first.

Inspector Van Veeteren is a grumpy, but brilliantly depressed detective who makes connections that leave his colleagues baffled. He finds the answers, but doesn’t show them the math. ( In school, the teachers were always harping on me to show the work.) He distrusts contentment or any sense of well being because it feels like just a harbinger of worse things to come. Being happy is like being stupid. The plot of this novel is intriguing, but the show is Van Veeteren. This book is more like a who-done-it from the Agatha Christie realm. The locked room, the red herrings, the brilliant solution.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,845 reviews16.3k followers
July 8, 2017
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 story by selling himself; if a reader likes the inspector, then they will most likely enjoy the story as well. Nesser has created a charismatically grumpy old depressed and intuitive senior detective in Veeteren, but the hero here is Nesser’s exceptional writing that blends somber, moody introspection with inspired literature and –yes!- some dry humor. At first I was surprised, thinking “is this some mix-up in translation?” but no, Nesser has let some wit and personality shine through and the finished result is better for it.

Nesser uses an omniscient and omnipresent narrative structure, with shifting perspectives amongst a panoply of interesting characters to add depth and dramatic effect to his story. Set in a fictional town that could be anywhere in northern Europe, Nesser describes an unusual investigation with an alien, almost surrealistic legal due process.

Dark and brooding as Scandinavian crime fiction should be; but with a literary style and disposition that makes this a very enjoyable and entertaining novel.

Profile Image for Thomas.
691 reviews165 followers
August 6, 2017
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 little violence.
Van Veeteren's thought process: "He interpreted the signals emitted by a suspect; sometimes he found it easy to do as reading a book, like a musician can pick out a tune from a mass of notes in a score, or a mathematics teacher can spot an inaccurate calculation."
This was a library book.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 8 books6,900 followers
August 12, 2010
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 Veeteren now knows that a tragic error has no doubt been made. He plunges into a full scale investigation of both crimes that leads him to a shocking conclusion.

With this book, Nesser succeeds very well in introducing a very intriguing protagonist, and watching Van Veeteren in action is the real pleasure of reading the book. The crimes themselves are intriguing, but my reservation about the book is that the solution to the crimes results primarily from Van Veeteren's intuition about the murders, little of which is shared with the reader, as opposed to the physical evidence.

Once Van Veeteren intuits the solution to the puzzle, he races around gathering the evidence that will support his conclusion, but the reader is left totally in the dark about the conclusion he has reached. Thus the solution at the end of the book seems to come out of the clear blue sky. The reader is in no way prepared for the resolution that the detective provides.

Meeting Van Veeteren and watching him interact with his colleagues and others is a lot of fun, but you can't help feeling that Nesser has withheld a bit too much of the evidence from the reader, perhaps cheating the reader of the opportunity to accompany Van Veeteren along the road to the solution of the crimes.
Profile Image for Marsena Adams-Dufresne.
Author 1 book9 followers
July 25, 2012
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 is the "brilliant" detective who always manages to solve the crime, he is a caustic, rude character, and we are not given any insight or understanding into what has made him that way. His co-workers find him nearly intolerable and I kept thinking that I would rather quit than work with someone like him, no matter how successful he is in solving mysteries.

The author also structures his story so that Van Veeteren solves the puzzle long before the details are revealed to the reader. I suppose this is one way in which Nesser tries to keep us in suspense, but I found it annoying. To read that Van Veeteren looked over the report one more time and there it is! The detail he had been missing all this time that explains everything! But to not be told what that detail is for fifteen or twenty more pages? No. I prefer authors like Henning Mankell who reveal details to the reader as his characters are discovering them, making me feel a part of the process. Nesser's approach puts me at a remove and makes me aware of an author who is manipulating and withholding information from me. Clearly, I'm not a fan.
December 11, 2016
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 most complicated investigation, the benefit of this is in just how closely readers get to experience the intuitive flair and brusque manner of Van Veeteren. The Mind's Eye provides an excellent opportunity to observe the inner workings of the investigative team who support Van Veeteren and also gives an insight into relations with his absent wife and offspring. Never content without a toothpick or two roaming in his mouth, frequently abrupt with colleagues and suspects alike, Van Veeteren is a man marking the days until his retirement just ten years away.

When schoolteacher Janek Mitter awakes with a blistering hangover, complete with throbbing eyes and a dry mouth, he is unsure of even his own name. He remembers nothing until he stumbles through the apartment and begins to recognise some memories of the place. Met by an urge to vomit he races for the bathroom and it confronted by the discovery of the dead body of his wife, Eva Ringmar, face-down in a bathtub filled to the brim. Mitter has no memory of his, if any, role in the events which have taken place but with plenty of empty alcohol bottles littering the place it seems that the previous night's intoxication is to blame. Recently married, Janek and Eva, both approaching forty are teaching colleagues at the local Bunge High School, and their marriage was a second chance at happiness. With a traumatic past, marked by the death of her young child and ensuing marital break-up, the obvious conclusion that Eva's murder is the work of her husband is quickly reached.

Largely because the matter is not that complex and seems a proverbial open and shut case, Mitter's fate it swiftly delivered. Pleading not guilty yet having no basis for forming any sort of defence, the prosecution produce a range of witnesses and colleagues who fail to convince Van Veeteren that Mitter has a track record of violent outbursts or the capacity to have carried out this act in such a callous manner. After intense questioning at his trial, Mitter is soon a shadow of himself, exhausted and anxious. His brutal frankness on the stand and general air of consigned resignation to his fate leaves him almost glad to return to a solitude of incarceration and a life behind bars. Frequently humorous when cross-examined, sometimes to the point of seeming facetious, his colourful testimony is met with a unanimous decision by the jury.

Convicted of manslaughter and sent to a secure mental institution in Majorna, his swift dispatch leaves Van Veeteren doubting the man's guilt. When a mix-up with his medication and multi-vitamins(!) allows Mitter's first memories of the fateful night to return, a flash of insight leaves him with the identity on the killer on his lips. Trying to call Van Veeteren and dispatching a missive to the true killer to let him know that his game is up, confusion at police HQ sees Mitter's message go astray and leaves the real perpetrator with a chance to act... Mitter meets his fate the following night, leaving Van Veeteren furious at the missed the opportunity to learn the killers true identity. With a second victim dead, Van Veeteren is left to conclude that the letter which Mitter sent must have been to one of the few addresses that he had committed to memory, limiting the possible locations. His workplace of twenty years, Bunge High School, seems to be the most likely destination but in a school of over seven-hundred pupils and a staff of approximately eighty-five, Van Veeteren's team of detectives have a job making inroads, especially given the mountain of daily post they receive. But Van Veeteren knows that the past never really stops haunting the present and as he continues to fumble for insights into Eva's earlier life he is confronted by the fact that the killer might have more than the blood of two murders on his hands. Over half of this novel focuses on the aftermath of Mitter's death and an awareness that a lacklustre investigation of the initial background to the situation had more than a hand in seeing the wrong party convicted. It is up to Van Veeteren to unmask the real perpetrator and see justice, albeit belatedly, prevail.

Nesser excels at characterisation and everyone of his investigative colleagues makes a significant impression, with the snappy dialogue giving readers a closer insight into the attitudes and perspectives of the individual investigators who number his team. Among the personalities working in his team, his sidekick and protégée is the slow-witted Inspector Münster, himself over forty-years-old. The rapport between Van Veeteren and Münster is particularly drawn well and the droll humour of Van Veeteren frequently leaves Münster standing, slow to cotton on to what appears so apparent to Van Veeteren. One particularly humorous memorable moment comes in the form of Van Veeteren delivering an insight into his thought processes to Münster, and summing up the Scandi noir genre in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner:
"A novel, a film, or a play, Münster - they are nothing but stuffed life. Life that has been captured and stuffed like a taxidermist stuff's a dead animal. They are created so that we can reasonably easily examine it. Clamber out of current reality and look at it from a distance."

Alongside the quirks of the team there is a wonderful overview to the back story of Van Veeteren and his rivalry on the badminton court with Münster and I look forward to seeing his progression as the series continues. Notably even with the secondary characters who feature in The Mind's Eye, attention to detail is second to none, from the headmaster of Bunge High School that hides behind his desk to the childhood friends of Eva Ringmar.

The location for the Van Veeteren series is the fictional town of Maardam, home to a population of 300,000 in Northern Europe, and generally inferred as being based in the Netherlands. Despite this lack of definitive setting, I assumed the culture adhered to the usual Nordic Noir attitudes, being slightly more liberal than the view prevailing in the UK. Beginning in October 1990, the emphasis in The Mind's Eye is much more along the lines of gut feelings and less fixated on the digital footprints of the victims, and the case has a curiously old-fashioned feel which suits this gentle introduction to Van Veeteren wonderfully. Despite this emphasis on leg-work the pace holds up exceeding well and is helped by the frequent bouts of dialogue at the team meetings, which always provide an opportunity for humorous insights and unspoken prejudices to be raised. Indeed one of the most humorous aspects of this novel is how quickly all of the team air their honest opinions and aspersions on the people they come across in the course of their work. With a dry humour laced throughout the pages, this first novel serves as the perfect introduction to the tenacious Detective Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, a man of advancing years which adds credence to his his tried and tested working methods and leaps of intuition.
Profile Image for Patrizia.
506 reviews132 followers
October 9, 2020
In un non meglio identificato paese del nord, piovoso e nebbioso, opera con la sua squadra il commissario Van Veeteren, stuzzicadenti in bocca e cervello in continuo movimento, un profondo senso della giustizia e quella dose di testardaggine che gli consente di riaprire e risolvere un caso che sembrava chiuso. Logica e intuito sono alla base delle sue indagini, narrate in uno stile accattivante, fatto di frasi brevi, ironia e bei dialoghi. Un noir raffinato, dal ritmo giusto, privo di sbavature e di elementi inutili.
Profile Image for Tim Orfanos.
338 reviews30 followers
January 29, 2023
Μέχρι στιγμής ένα από τα πιο ενδιαφέροντα αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα της 'σκανδιναβικής σχολής' που έχω διαβάσει (1993). O Nesser είναι Σουδός, αλλά γράφει περισσότερο σαν Αμερικανός με γρήγορο ρυθμό, ενώ σε κρατά σε εγρήγορση και σε αγωνία, χωρίς να κουράζει.

To καταδιωκτικό και κλειστοφοβικό κλίμα του βιβλίου 'δένει' με ένα μαγικό τρόπο με τα απόκρημνα τοπία και φαράγγια των περιοχών της Σουηδίας. Εδώ, o Nesser θίγει ένα ιδιαίτερο θέμα που ίσως σοκάρει, αλλά το χτίζει με τρόπο που δεν ενοχλεί. 'Γεννά' ένα κεντρικό ήρωα, τον επιθεωρητή Βαν Βέτερεν, με στόφα κυνική αλλά με αποτελεσματικότητα και σπάνια οξυδέρκεια!

Το προτείνω ανεπιφύλακτα για το καλοκαίρι.

Βαθμολογία: 4/5 ή 8/10.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
1,160 reviews37 followers
November 3, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Ellie.
1,448 reviews365 followers
December 25, 2011
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't wait to read the next in the series.

My favorite line that comes close to capturing the feel of the entire novel: "A crime against the determinant," said Van Veeteren, looking just for a second as if he might smile. "If we don't have a religion, the least we can do is to try to live as if we were a book or a film. There are the only hints you are going to get."
Profile Image for Sheila Beaumont.
1,102 reviews143 followers
August 9, 2019
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, and there are few clues to help the reader figure out whodunit. The story is grim, but there's quite a bit of subtle humor to lighten things up, and there are a few scenes that made me laugh out loud. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading about more of Van Veeteren's cases.
Profile Image for Paul Secor.
542 reviews41 followers
March 14, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Mackey.
1,033 reviews361 followers
January 14, 2017
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 character even described his lack of explanation for the crime as "being a surprise for the end - like a movie plot," but for a reader that explanation was too trite and a bit condescending.
Overall, I remain torn about the book and future ones in the series. Most likely I will give the author another try and if you enjoy Nordic Noir I would suggest you might do so as well. Perhaps you will have more success with Nesser's writing style than did I.
Profile Image for Naomi.
4,679 reviews138 followers
June 9, 2010
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 it takes WAY too long to have them translated and released in the US. The man does live in New York for part of the year...hello!
Profile Image for Fedra.
380 reviews87 followers
November 18, 2021
Ναι... ΟΧΙ!

Παρορμητικά εντελώς το έπιασα, ήθελα ένα θριλεράκι. Όμως εξοργίστηκα, απορώ λίγο πως και δεν το παράτησα. Συνήθως σε παρόμοιες περιπτώσεις δεν έχω πρόβλημα.
Τι με ενοχλούσε;
ΑΝΤΙΠΑΘΗΤΙΚΟΣ πρωταγωνιστής (ο Βαν Βέτερεν) ο αστυνομικός δηλαδή. Η περίληψη του βιβλίου επικεντρώνεται στον Γιάνεκ Μίτερ που παθαίνει αμνησία και με αυτόν ξεκινά το βιβλίο. Γύρω στο 30% τον ξεχνάει.

⛔ Βασικά ο Βαν Βετερεν έχει μεγάλη ιδέα για τον εαυτό του και συμπεριφέρεται άσχημα σε όλους. Γενικά όλοι οι αστυνομικοί είναι αντιπαθητικοί, αλλά ο πρωταγωνιστής παίρνει το έπαθλο.

⛔ Στο κάθε κεφάλαιο επικεντρωνόταν ο αφηγητής σε άλλο πρόσωπο. Όμως επειδή η αφήγηση ήταν τριτοπρόσωπη, και δεν ξεκαθάριζε σε ποιόν επικεντρωνόταν κάθε φορά από τους αστυνομικούς, υπόπτους κλπ, υπήρχε ένα μπέρδεμα.

Φαίνεται πως το έχει γράψει άντρας. Εμείς οι γυναίκες τουλάχιστον το καταλαβαίνουμε. Καταλήγουν 7 ντετέκτιβ που ασχολούνται με την υπόθεση, και οι 7 άντρες! Μα που πήγαν όλες οι γυναίκες; (αναφορά σε βιβλίο που κυκλοφόρησε την ίδια περίοδο).

Και ο σεξισμός! Δεν τον αντέχω! Όλες οι γυναίκες είναι ή πόρνες ή μητέρες. Τελείωσε! Αυτό διακρίνεται από την αρχή. Αργότερα φτάνει και το αναφέρει κιόλας κάποια στιγμή μέσα στο βιβλίο. Ορίστε ένα απόσπασμα όταν πάνε να ανακρίνουν έναν ύποπτο και ανοίγει η γυναίκα του την πόρτα:
Η κυρία Μπέργκερ ειδοποίησε για την άφιξή του φωνάζοντας προς τον επάνω όροφο και ο άντρας της της απάντησε οτι κατέβαινε αμέσως. Έπειτα κάλεσε τον Βαν Βέτερεν να καθίσε�� σε μια βαθιά πολυθρόνα, μία από τις τέσσερις μπροστά στο αναμμένο τζάκι, και του απολογήθηκε λέγοντας οτι έπρεπε να πάει οπωσδήποτε στην κουζίνα.

Μπορεί να μην φαίνεται ιδιαίτερο, αλλά σκεφτείτε όλο το βιβλίο που οι γυναίκες απλά μαγειρεύουν ή εκπορνεύονται.
Και προβλέψιμο.

Ο μόνος λόγος που δεν παίρνει μόνο ένα αστέρι είναι επειδή στην αρχή μου κρατούσε το ενδιαφέρον. Παίρνει 1.5
Profile Image for Nancy Oakes.
1,914 reviews704 followers
July 14, 2009
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 Mitter himself, who absolutely cannot remember a thing. Van Veeteren finds himself wondering if indeed Mitter was the culprit, especially after Mitter is found murdered in a hospital for the mentally ill, where he was imprisoned after his trial. Van Veeteren knows that the only way to get to the bottom of these crimes is to find out all he can about their past lives -- especially Eva's.

This book is one more in the wonderful set of mysteries written by Nesser. His writing is so good that he will hook you in the first few pages and not let you go until the book is finished.

I can very highly recommend this one to others who enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction, and to those who have read Nesser's other books. Mystery readers who want something different than the usual will also enjoy this book as well.
Profile Image for Lynn.
1,607 reviews48 followers
December 5, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Andrei Bădică.
364 reviews153 followers
November 3, 2021
Pentru prima mea întâlnire cu Nesser, romanul Cu ochii minţii mi s-a părut extrem de captivant, cu un ritm alert şi un deznodământ surprinzător.

"- În mod firesc, prietenii buni nu au decât lucruri bune de spus unii despre ceilalţi. Nimeni nu se aşteaptă la altceva de la ei."
Profile Image for İlkim.
1,372 reviews11 followers
April 25, 2020
90larda yazılmış bir İskandinav polisiyesi. Karakter olarak bana John Rebus'u hatırlattı. Dava beklemediğim kadar ilgimi çekti ama tanıtım yazısı spoiler içeriyor bence. Kitabın yarısında meydana gelen olayı tanıtıma yazmak nedir, nasıl bir kafadır anlamadım.
Profile Image for Carol.
296 reviews43 followers
April 26, 2012
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 know the murder victims with no useful information to a solution. The weakness in this book is the method of crime solving my Inspector Van Veeteren. His intuition. No physical evidence. As if pulling a rabbit out of his hat. Problem solved. Toothpicks broken. Time to go home. Not interested in reading another one of these novels.
Profile Image for Judith E.
522 reviews186 followers
April 4, 2022
I read most of this lying flat on my back while recovering from the side effects of my 2nd Covid vaccine booster. I found Chief Inspector Von Veteeren’s quips in this standard and simple police procedural that is set in Sweden, just what I needed for the last 48 hours.
Profile Image for Vicky Ziliaskopoulou.
546 reviews78 followers
April 23, 2018
Δεν ξέρω γιατί. Λίγο μετά τη μέση απλά δεν το άντεξα. Δεν ξέρω αν φταίει ο τρόπος γραφής ή η υπόθεση, πάντως δεν με τράβηξε και το άφησα στην ησυχία του.
Profile Image for John.
Author 267 books157 followers
October 22, 2018
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 . . .

But grumpy, misanthropic Chief Inspector Van Veeteren -- he's depressed not that his wife has left him but that she's thinking of coming back -- isn't certain the cops got the right man, and so, despite the reluctance of those around him, insists his team keep the case open even after Janek has been sent off to begin his sentence in a mental hospital. And, of course, circumstances prove Van Veeteren right . . .

Mind's Eye is my introduction to Nesser's work, and I found myself reading it as quickly and with as much enjoyment as something by Ed McBain in his prime. Don't let me mislead you -- they're two very different authors -- but, on the evidence of this novel, Nesser shares with McBain the ability to create an enormously readable police procedural that's quite brutal in places and yet full of a surprising amount of very effective humor, usually based on observations of his characters' quirks.

I have exactly one beef with the novel: the business of the bolted bathroom door is never explained. I could see how there might be some sort of symbolism going on -- locking away the memories of a relationship with Eva, perhaps? -- but really I'm still mystified by this aspect of the plot.

Aside from that cavil, though, all the rest of my feelings about Mind's Eye can be summed up in a single word: Wow! The book gripped me from the start, and I had genuine difficulty putting it down when things like deadlines and sleep demanded I do so.
Profile Image for Yan .
263 reviews
March 16, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Veronika Can.
189 reviews17 followers
November 26, 2021
Viena iš tų knygų, kurias perskaitai ir jau po savaitės blankiai prisimeni apie ką ji. Neskani kava, palaidi galai ir pasodintas nekaltas žmogus.. Didelio įspūdžio nepaliko.

🖋️ Išsakę visus įmanomus norus, juodu liovėsi skaičiuoti žvaigždes..
🖋️ Tamsa niekuomet nebus galutinai įveikta.
🖋️ ..neapleido baimė, kad žino gerokai daugiau negu supranta.
🖋️ Blogis? Tai ne tas reiškinys, su kuriuo norisi stoti akistaton.
Profile Image for Iryna *Book and Sword*.
430 reviews680 followers
July 6, 2018
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 novels - it's hard to review them without giving anything away, so I will just be very general here. The writing was blunt and very refreshing and therefore the book was a breeze to read through. Even a little bit addicting at some points. The opening was fantastic - it lures the reader right in and doesn't want to let go.

I love myself some cold European sarcasm and boy did this book deliver - I laughed out loud quite a few times, which was such a pleasant surprise.

Van Veeteren is a "lovely" character to follow. The description on the back cover that compares him to Dr. House is quite spot on. Yes, you can definitely call him Dr. House of the investigation scene. Grumpy, snarky and with no regards to other people's feelings. Although to be honest he could have cranked up his grumpiness a few notches (or a lot) and I would have enjoyed it even more.

We don't really get to divulge into Von's detective style - there's a lot of conversation, interrogation and coffee drinking, but he doesn't reveal much of his thoughts until the very end. Which both is good and kind of annoying. It's good because it keeps the reader guessing, but it's also annoying because who likes to be in the dark??

​The plot is nothing special, but despite of that there wasn't a point in which I felt bored o wanted to speed things up. I will definitely try to pick up more of his books in the future.

Profile Image for Shivesh.
130 reviews10 followers
January 26, 2010
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 library bookshelf, with its brooding cover and lonely and stark typeset, there was no doubt as to what I was in for. The story is set in a fictional town, presumably in Sweden (but apparently deduced in later novels to be somewhere in Denmark) and stars a typically curmudgeonly detective named Van Veeteren. He is pulled into a case of a bathtub drowning death which slow boils its way to an utterly sick and theatrical conclusion. No reason to give away more than that - this book is more about the atmosphere than the plot: hazy cigarette smoke, stale coffee, sallow skin, lurid sex.

This is the first in a series of mysteries with Van Veeteren, who is not exactly a unique creation of the hard-boiled detective milieu, but is entertaining to follow. The real fun is imagining which actor would be best for the inevitable movie version of this novel. Van Veeteren would be best served by an older character actor, perhaps Willem Dafoe in his creepy phase.
Profile Image for Andy.
410 reviews67 followers
May 31, 2021
A new author for me in the Nordic Noir genre but one who is firmly established.

Very easy reading style, churned through the early pages getting into the story & the mind of the “killer” or should I say accused which isn’t much of a reveal as its covered in the synopsis.

The narrative at the start I enjoyed, the characterisation of the main players not so, all a tad blank, especially the main man, Inspector Van Veeteren who we learn next to nothing about….. there’s nothing at all to get hold of. He really was a non-entity & it was really only the accused you could identify with. Some say he’s amusing? I think it got lost in the translation, I think there going for caustic humour but tis not really there for me…

After the initial decent opening it becomes really sketchy & disjointed & sometimes I wonder…. Now whose this talking? What’s this relevance? Where we going?

And I really lost interest as it descended into a bit of a farce if im honest & then with 50 pages to go the killer is revealed, I jus binned it as I cared nought for the why, what fore’s….. it was like watching an episode of Scooby Doo & finding out the janitor didn’t do it!!!

1 star....... its been a while since ive given only one & so far into a book as well……
Profile Image for Deb Jones.
682 reviews77 followers
April 9, 2019
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 and situations, the ability to sense when something is amiss or witnesses are lying or withholding information. These abilities along with the detective's skill at reducing issues and facts to their lowest common denominator that have lead to his success and will be sorely tested in this case.

A strong beginning to a series I am looking forward to reading more of.
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