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The Living and the Dead in Winsford

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  999 ratings  ·  129 reviews
As far as her friends and children are concerned, Maria Holinek is in Morocco with her author husband, Martin. In reality, Maria is alone, holed up in a secluded cottage in WInsford, on Exmoor, trying to outlive her dog.

Weeks before, Maria and Martin fled Stockholm under a cloud. The couple were bound for Morocco, where Martin planned to write an explosive novel; one that
Published 2016 by Pan Books (first published July 2nd 2015)
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Andy Weston To appreciate the story to its fullest spend some time in a similar village on those windswept and rainy winter nights. It's the atmosphere created…moreTo appreciate the story to its fullest spend some time in a similar village on those windswept and rainy winter nights. It's the atmosphere created that helps pull the story together. Interesting that a Swede does it so well. (less)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  999 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a very good writer and a very good read. One I think I will remember a very long time! The description and flow of language doesn't feel translated. One of the last translations by the recently deceased Laurie Thompson, reads very well. Maria and Martin have been married thirty plus years. There are secrets and damages. The various threads of story running along are well developed as Maria simply wants to outlive Castor, her dog! The travels, ramblings / walking in the moors really kept me ...more
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Living and the Dead in Winsford – Scandi Noir transfers to Exmoor

Hakan Nesser the King of Swedish Noir returns with his latest book, The Living and the Dead in Winsford, where Exmoor gets a starring role, in this psychological thriller. Nesser brings all his skills to bare in this thriller, which is a slow cooker, but lets you in to the twist in the last couple of pages. This is not a fast paced book, but carefully written, so we see the world from our narrator’s point of view, Maria Holinek
Robert Spencer
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I know, I should be really miffed at what was left hanging. Part of the joy of a skein of potentially intractable mysteries has always been, in this genre, the comfortable knowledge that all would be tied together and explained. But Nesser leaves some of the most tantalising mysteries (albeit secondary to the plot) completely unresolved. Perhaps this is a massive cheat on his part. But to dwell on this would be to negate the huge enjoyment I derived along the journey of this story. It is jus ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Håkan Nesser är en sådan där författare som jag känner mig väldigt trygg med. Att läsa hans böcker känns alltid hemtamt, småmysigt (oavsett vad de handlar om) och väldigt avkopplande. Här finns ingen action, ingen stress och ju längre stunder man läser desto bättre blir böckerna. Det är lite som att bli vaggad i en liten eka ute på sjön. Läs mer på min blogg
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is an excellent book. A standalone novel that keeps on giving. I know this author through the wonderful Van Veeteren Series but this another facet of his writing and informed story telling. What is most facinating is that for the most part he speaks through the voice of his female protagonist for the majority of the book.
How he captures the world through Maria's eyes is quite remarkable; the novel is in the main her telling her story which is full of unsettled thoughts and a sense of impend
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: precinct-81
I thought it was an excellent read and really enjoyed the story and the way it unfolds. It keeps you guessing to the end..
I wonder why this author seems less known under the scandinavian thriller writers.
(Warning: if you like to see everything neatly explained and folded up at the end, it might not be your cup of tea)
Julie Mestdagh
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Levande och döda i Winsford" is bijlange niet het eerste boek van Håkan Nesser dat ik lees, doch wel het eerste in het Zweeds. Ik las reeds de hele Barbarotti-reeks in het Nederlands, alsook enkele stand-alones (Hemel boven Londen, de zomer van Kim Novak, …) en was al fan van Nesser's vertelstijl en humor. Dat is na het lezen van dit boek alleen maar bevestigd. Nesser is een topauteur;zijn humor om van te smullen.

In "Levande och döda i Winsford" volgen we de Zweedse televisiepresentatrice Maria
Jim Coughenour
Håkan Nesser's Van Veeteren is one of my favorite detectives (especially as played by Sven Wollter in the film versions of the books). Borkmann's Point was the first of Nesser's books translated into English, and I keep hoping for another as good. The Living and the Dead in Winsford isn't even close. It gets high points for atmosphere – the evocation of the Somerset moor is superb but cannot support the the feeble plot. The narrator, an enervated Swedish television presenter betrayed by her lite ...more
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel following Swedish TV presenter Maria, who ends up in the wiles of Exmoor after fleeing from her husband, literary giant Martin. The tension builds up well, and the slightly sarcastic tone of the narration makes it darkly humorous. My only reservation is that it was rather open-ended, not clearing up all the mysteries and questions I had about what happened.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. Very slow, although I found myself more drawn into it from the midpoint. Felt the ending was lacking, though.
Dimitris Passas
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been longing to read this book for quite a long time as I'm familiar with Håkan Nesser's overall work and I admit being an admirer of his writing skills. I've read the majority of his well-known Van Veeteren book series -10 books in total- and I believe that his prose is one of the best among the heavyweights of Scandinavian crime fiction. His stories on the other hand, are not so intriguing and ingenious as those of the best Nordic Noir novels, but when reading a Nesser's book you simply t ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Eigentlich 3,5 *
Aber da ich dachte, ich würde einen normalen Krimi lesen - mit den üblichen ausgelaugten Kommissaren und psychopathischen (Serien)Mördern - war ich doch positiv überrascht. Keine extreme Spannung, eher plätscher die Geschichte leicht und unspektakulär vor sich hin. Aber gerade das mochte ich.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cold & creepy Winsford

Winsford, Somerset, Exmoor National Park. In de wintermaanden is het er koud, mistig, modderig en eenzaam. Precies die eenzaamheid is wat hoofdpersoon Maria Holinek/Anderson er zoekt. Zij huurt een tijdelijk onderkomen, waarin ze samen met haar Rhodesian ridgeback Castor haar intrek neemt. Castor is een hond met karakter en betekent veel voor Maria, hoewel zich in de loop van het verhaal de vraag opdringt in hoeverre Maria überhaupt in staat is lief te hebben.

Håkan Nes
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have literally just turned the final page and am lost for words! I was overjoyed to see that the wonderful Hakan Nesser had written a stand alone novel. I absolutely adore his Inspector Van Veeteren series and when I saw this was based in the south of England, I started it eagerly.

It's perhaps one of the strangest books i have ever read, but I was completely obsessed with reading it and couldn't put it down. The main character, Maria, is not someone I took to at any point as she just seems, qu
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This is a standalone novel and not one of the series. It is a psychological understanding book - and told from the perspective or Maria. Maria is 55 and has been married to Martin all of her adult years.They have 2 grown children who live away. Both Maria and Martin have had successful careers - Maria in television, and Martin as a writer. Then Martin is accused of rape - not his first sexual assignation - but his first rape. The woman later withdrawals her accusation.. Since both Maria and Mart ...more
Amit Tiwary
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
Is it a readable book? Yes
Is it a gripping thriller? Somewhat
Is it face paced like other Hakan Nesser books? No
Is it lucid? No
Did it meet mine expectations? Not completely
Will I recommend this one? Half Heartedly
Rachel Hall
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Living and the Dead in Winsford made a impressive introduction to the writing of Håkan Nesser for me and I will ensure I repeat the experience. This is one of two standalone thrillers that he has written, being more well known for his Inspector Van Veeteren series set in the fictitious city of Maardam, although the exact country is never specified. This novel is firmly set in the rugged surroundings of Winsford, a village in Exmoor, an undoubtedly breathtaking landscape and in the harshest w ...more
wasn't sure i'd like this at first but it drew me in and i was on tenterhooks to see what would happen to maria
Helena Halme
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The tension, which builds up slowly in this genius psychological thriller, only gives up on the last pages of the book when we finally find out what really happened to the central Swedish celebrity couple in Nesser's gripping new novel.

Maria Holinek has decided to spend the winter in a remote Exmoor cottage, with the single ambition to outlive her dog, Castor. Although she tells the locals she’s Maria Anderson, a Swedish author seeking the seclusion of Exmoor to write her latest novel, we soon d
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-favorites
The Living and the Dead in Winsford may be my book of the year in 2015. Captivating and beautifully written story. I was so enthralled with the location of the book (Winsford,Somerset) that I put the book down and read up on the area and looked at various photos. Nesser has nailed the foreboding atmosphere. The Living and the Dead for me was the perfect psychological thriller. It reminded me of the type of tension Hitchcock created in his movie Suspicion. The book has to do with isolation both p ...more
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Psychological thriller, told in the first person by a middle-aged Swedish woman who has had a career as a television presenter. She and her (academic) husband leave their home for what is supposed to be a long stay in Morocco, so that he can write a book (and escape unwelcome attention and publicity after an accusation of assault). However for most of the book she is alone, spending the winter in an isolated cottage in Somerset. To say more would give too much away!

This is not at all like his Va
I have some mixed feelings about this book. It was my first novel by Hakan Nesser and I immediately picked up his style of writing. It's easy and pleasant to read yet their is great clarity and meaning in his words. I also liked the setting of the story and the landscape it mostly takes place in.

However as the story evolves I was hoping to get more of an insight in some of the characters minds and motives. In the end I finally was disappointed as parts of the story completely remained unsolved.
I feel very ambivalant about this book; on one side it is a brilliant read although it is slow to start. But once you get past the first 50 pages it beginst to pick up and after the first 100 you're caught. So a bit of patience is required to begin with. But then the plot starts moving and I found myself eager to find out what was up with many of the things that happened.

Sadly not all of them were explored to my satisfaction and there were too many loose ends left hanging.
I could guess at a few
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Åh, Håkan, du har overgået dig selv! Virkelig velskrevet bog. Nesser skriver på en meget lavmælt og underspillet måde, der får en til at føle sig som forfatterens fortrolige. Der bliver aldrig talt ned til læseren, hvilket mange forfattere kunne lære meget af. Naturbeskrivelserne og det rolige liv giver mig lyst til at tilbringe tid på den engelske hede. :-)

Bogen er naturligvis også spændende på den stille måde; jeg giver dog kun fire stjerner ud af fem pga. en enkelt løs tråd, og fordi det er e
Hannelore Cheney
Wonderful, probably my favorite read of 2015. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers. Some people are a bit unhappy with the ending, but I found it very apt and have my own ideas of what happens next. The love between her and the dog really spoke to me and their walks on the moor were beautifully vivid. As the story progressed there were parts where I literally held my breath. So glad I ordered it from the UK.
Gabriella Barle
Jag tycker vanligtvis om Nessers lågmälda handling och fina språk. Dock tar denna bok lite för lång tid på sig att få vad som känns som någon intressant handling. Halvvägs in tar den bra fart och blir mer spännande. Den blir även riktigt obehaglig. Slutet är snabbt avverkat och med bra tvist. Men detta är inte Nesser i högform.
Miriam Mccolgan
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, a book I found really hard to put down. It kept me on my toes from beginning to end. Under promised with a pretty standard premise, but over delivered in trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Translation 90% there, only a little awkward in one or two places. If I had one criticism it would be that it lacked a small bit of tension toward the end.
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this story set on Exmoor. High profile Swedish woman seeks refuge in an isolated cottage. Don't want to give anything away. I found the story completely believable with the mundane - beautifully described walks and pub meals - with totally unexpected omg moments. Very little violence.
Kadi Viik
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, swedish
En bra bok på många sätt. Berättelsen blir väldigt spännande efter en något seg start, berättarjaget är sympatiskt och miljöskildringarna kryper in under huden. Men alla dessa lösa trådar på slutet? Hyrbilen, fasanerna, G med sina mejl? Det blir platt fall, ingenting får en förklaring och jag lämnas mest undrande över vad jag precis har läst.
Steph Whitfield
I think I read a different book to everyone else. I found this exceptionally slow, and although it did pick up pace halfway through, for me it was "Too little, too late". I felt there were mysteries left unexplained, and was ultimately disappointed. The plot had promise but unfortunately did not deliver.
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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
“Es ist in vieler Hinsicht leichter, ohne Horizonte zu leben, im Nebel und in der Enge, jedenfalls ist mir bewusst, dass ich mich an simple und praktische Tätigkeiten halten muss: wie gesagt, Beschlüsse fassen und sie in die Tat umsetzen, sonst könnten alle Dämme brechen. Wenn alles, jeder Schritt und jede Handlung und Unternehmung, ohne tieferen Sinn ist, wenn man ebenso gut etwas völlig anderes hätte tun können als das, was man gerade macht, und man es einfach nicht lassen kann, sich daran zu erinnern – und wenn das Einzige, was eventuell von Bedeutung ist, in den Fehlern und Missetaten zu bestehen scheint, die man in der Vergangenheit begangen hat –, tja, dann lauert der Wahnsinn hinter der nächsten Ecke.” 0 likes
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