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The Wolf and the Watchman

(Bellman noir #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  11,150 ratings  ·  1,732 reviews
It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.

When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and forme
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Atria Books (first published September 13th 2017)
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Val At one point he is described or imagined as wriggling about like a slug and he could find it by smell, but it is not an image I want to be thinking ab…moreAt one point he is described or imagined as wriggling about like a slug and he could find it by smell, but it is not an image I want to be thinking about.(less)
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This is an award winning Swedish historical horror fiction set in 1793, a period overshadowed by the recent events that resulted in the French Revolution sparking paranoia amongst Royal Houses throughout Europe, including King Gustav who unleashed a horde of spies to report on any who voice thoughts of overthrowing him. Gustav was assassinated, and Stockholm's people live in penury, struggling to survive in the stinking dark, dirty and cold streets riddled with cruelty, death, disease, enslaveme ...more
The Wolf and the Watchman is a 2019 Atria Books publication.

Morose and grisly- but morbidly fascinating!

Late 1700s- Stockholm-

A mutilated corpse is found in the lake- and by mutilated, I mean limbs, tongue, and eyes had been methodically removed, one at a time, the work mimicking that of a surgeon.

Cecil Winge, a lawyer, suffering through the last stages of consumption has been asked to look into the matter, which is the only thing that keeps him on his feet, fighting to stay alive long enough
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
”A great calamity has befallen us. A thousand rumors abound, and one more preposterous than the next. It is impossible to obtain any trustworthy information, for even travelers have differing accounts and all seem to me somewhat poetical in what they relate. The atrocity of the crime, as it has been related, is too great, such that I do not know how I should think thereof.”---Carl Gustaf Af Leopold 1793

The night watchman, Mickel Cardell, has seen enough death to last several lifetimes. He has li
Mary Beth
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one is such a dark and disturbing book. The author does not refrain from describing grotesque and disgusting descriptions. This book is not for everybody but it was definitely for me. I love dark and disturbing. There is lots of cruelty and violence.

The beginning had a slow burn to it and it was very confusing. I think I probably would of DNF it, if I did not read this with my buddy Julie in The Traveling Friends Group but then it made a complete u-turn and turned into an awesome story. I
Will Byrnes
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Tell me, Mr. Winge, does the expression homo homini lupus est mean anything to you?
“Plautus wrote it during the Punic Wars: ‘Like a wolf is man to other men.’…What kind of wolf are you, Mr. Winge? A good wolf? A skilled hunter?”
“No wolf at all, I’m afraid. What I do, I do not undertake in order to satisfy my bloodlust.”
“…Now I have helped you pick up the scent, all you have to do is follow it out into the forest and find your mark. I see how your expression is changed. You can’t fool me! Y
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It's 1793, and a mutilated body has been found floating in the city's lake. Mickel Cardell, an ex-watchman and crippled ex-soldier feels compelled to give the man a proper burial. Cecil Winge, an attorney and consultant for the Stockholm police, makes this case the last thing he will do as he is dying from consumption. He wants to solve the puzzle of the identity of the man who had no arms, no legs, no teeth, eyes or tongue. Who was he? Why was he tortured in such a manner? Who could have done t ...more
I had to wait for my blood pressure and heart rate to calm down before writing a review on this Novel.
A vividly written, unusual, intriguing and atmospheric Scandinavian crime thriller / horror / historical fiction story that made for difficult reading in places due to its very graphic content and yet apparently an accurate portrayal of 1780 Stockholm and I came away from this one with a feeling of gratitude for not having lived in the late 1700s as I don't think I would have lasted 5 minutes
A dark and gruesome Gothic thriller, which reveals a formidable and disturbing portrait of Stockholm during the tumultuous period of the late 18 century. The Wolf and the Watchman is at times horrifying, often captivating and always brilliantly written. I love the title and from that alone, there is a sense of anticipation and danger. Often the most corrupt are those tasked with upholding the law.

The characters are brilliantly developed where the personalities and demeanour of each
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
If you've ever been curious about Stockholm in the 18th century, then this is your book.

...aka this wasn't my book.

The writing is exquisite and so atmospheric that I had no problem conjuring up images and smells, yes, smells from the setting of this story. However, the storyline itself failed to hold my attention, especially the middle section.

Comparisons to The Alienist are undeniable. So if that book scratched your itch for a gruesome murder mystery, then, again, this is your book.

...aka t
Katie B
So glad I stepped a bit out of my reading comfort zone to give this one a try. I don't normally read very many books set in the 1700s but the premise for this one sounded intriguing. Turned out to be a really good read!

Mickel Cardell, a former soldier, is living in Stockholm when he finds a mutilated body. Together with Cecil Winge, a consulting detective for the police, they set out to determine the identity of the deceased and the circumstances behind his death. The story also travels back in
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Atria books, and Netgalley.
It's funny, but when I heard about this book, I thought this is something I would love. It was certainly bloodthirsty enough. A man is fished out of the Larder in Sweden. No eyes, no tongue, no limbs. At all. Great, I thought. I love gruesome! Turns out that gruesome is not even half as bad as everything else going on in this hair-raising book!
I think my whole disconnect with this story was the year..1793, and the location. I know absolutely nothing about
4.5 stars

In chaos theory, there is something called the butterfly effect. The idea is that one small action can greatly affect the outcome of a later, seemingly unrelated event. This novel is full of little moments that show how one person’s decision can permanently alter the lives of others.

The year is 1793 & Stockholm is a city on edge. Rebellion by lower classes in countries such as France have made the Swedish elite a tad nervous, especially after the murder of King Gustav III. This is the
Susanne  Strong
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

Complex, Dark, Ominous and Intriguing.

It’s 1793 in Stockholm, the body of a mutilated man is found floating in Lake Larder by Mickel Cardell, (an amputee and former soldier of war and an ex-watchman). Both of the man’s eyes are missing and all of his limbs have been sawed off, one by one. Needing help with the investigation, Cardell gets attorney Cecil Winge involved, even though he is dying of consumption. Both desperately want to identify the man and discover the reasons for his macabr
DEEP and DARK - in 18th century Stockholm.

First up we have Jean Michael Cardell, a disabled veteran with a passion for strong drink and bar brawls....a former night watchman with haunted memories of war.

Then Cecil Winge enters the picture, lawyer turned consulting detective for Stockholm police, a notably skilled young man living on borrowed time....and together these two troubled men search the DARK and dangerous streets for a ruthless monster who tortures and maims before he kills.


Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The stench, poverty, and squalor of late 1700 Stockholm is vivid in this novel. A horribly mutilated body is fished out of a lake by a one-armed watchman. A dying man of reason and lawyer-cum detective becomes obsessed with solving the hideous crime. A penniless young man, no more than a teenager really, travels to Stockholm in search of his fortune. A young woman becomes orphaned and is subjected to her own personal set of struggles and strife. There are reasons for the disparate characters’ ta ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1793. War with Russia had left many structures in Stockholm, Sweden in ruin. "...the world itself: so much darkness, so little light". So much disparity between wealthy aristocrats and the abject poverty forced upon the common man. Mickel Cardell, ex-soldier and former watchman, knew only too well the deprivation and famine of war. He had lost an arm fighting.

Mickel Cardell had found a way to lessen his panic attacks and terrible nightmares by using strong drink, constant inebriation and bar bra
Chris Berko
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was sick, depraved, gross, shocking, horrifying, depressing, dark, sinister...
And I loved every page.
I went into this with high expectations and am happy to report that it exceeded these by leaps and bounds. The tone and atmosphere was unrelentingly dark and at times I was reminded of the movie Se7en minus the religious overtones and if it was instead set in the late eighteenth century. The characters were amazingly written and I took an instant liking to the single-
Stephen Robert Collins
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
By page 9 I new this was going to be good book when Ceil Winge 'Slowly undressed the Mechanism ' to describe taking a watch to pieces.
This has a surly after taste of a strong spiced pickled onion..I feel that gone back to 1990s when discovered Perfume. Not often do you find good Translation book this was Swedish & Tr by Ebba Segerberg coming out in 2017 called 1793.
A body is fished out of a local filthy lake a body that has no eyes or limbs thus grotesque hunt starts by police officer who has th
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
“[watchmen are], most often lame, maimed, or mangled in some way that makes them unsuitable for other positions within the city watch or the military. Night and day, they chase beggars, petty thieves, vagrants, and prostitutes—everyone who does not serve any purpose in the eyes of the city governance.”

In 1793 Stockholm the one-armed watchman Mickell Cardell drags a mutilated body out of the river. Cecil Winge is a lawyer and detective dying (in gory detail) from consumption. The police enlist
Julie (JuJu)
The farther I read, the harder it was to put down this bold and gritty historical fiction/thriller/horror (I’m not sure exactly what to call it). I have to admit, this gutsy story didn’t start that way, though. If I hadn’t been reading it as a Buddy Read, I might have given up and moved to something else. I’m glad I stuck with it! is dark, gruesome and vividly detailed, but so eloquently written! Given the fact it takes place in the 1700’s, I wasn’t expecting a sappy, glorified story.

Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“[Mikel Cardell] grasps the body in the water once his kicking has carried him close enough. His first though is that he was correct. This cannot be a human being. It is a discarded carcass, tossed here by the butcher’s boys, made into a buoy as the gases of decomposition expand its innards. Then the lump rolls over and shows him its face…It isn’t rotten at all, and yet empty eye sockets stare back at him. Behind the torn lips there are no teeth. The hair alone has retained its luster – the nigh ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read, hard-copy
I was thoroughly absorbed in this grisly and cringe worthy historical mystery set in Stockholm in 1793. When a mutilated body washes ashore Mickell Cardell a former night watchman and Cecil Winge a lawyer are set on a path to try and find out the identity of the body and who killed him. This was a remarkable story and well thought out with a satisfying conclusion. Parts of the book are graphic and depraved but it is well worth reading and I enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommend!!!!!

Thank you At
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 Stars!

A gruesomely mutilated body is fished out of a local lake by a night watchman. So begins this dark mystery set in Stockholm in the late 1700's.

The main characters, the aforementioned night watchman, (Cardell), and a lawyer dying from consumption, (Winge), were fascinating and multi-layered. Winge hasn't much time left in this world, and he makes the investigation of this case his only reason for living. Cardell, an injured war veteran looking for self worth and coming up short, is tu
"Like a wolf is man to other men." - Plautus

Stockholm, 1793

When a mutilated body is pulled from a bog, a dying lawyer and a former soldier must work together to discover not only the murderer, but the identity of the victim.

Wow, wow, wow!
I opened this book not knowing anything more than the fact that it was a historical mystery, and what a fascinating, mesmerizing read it turned out to be: interesting characters, both likable, and loathsome, and an engaging plot with plenty of twists. Trigger
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stockholm, 1793. Mickel Cardell is awoken from a drunken stupor by two young street urchins. Apparently, they have found a dead body floating at the edge of Lake Larder. He may only have one arm, but he is still a watchman. Mickel is still drunk as he follows the two youngsters arriving at the lake to find the body is too far out in the water to be certain it is even a body. Mickel realises that he must swim out to check.

He wades out with difficulty and finds that his implied threats of a severe
Undoubtedly well written and set in an interesting time and place, but I cannot possibly continue with this novel. It is just too gruesome. Pity.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Stockholm, in 1793, this is a dark and gruesome read, featuring two, interesting central characters. To be honest, these main characters saved the novel for me, as I found this a very disquieting read. Mickel Cardell is a war veteran, turned watchman, who has lost an arm. Woken in a bar one night, he pulls a body out of the water. It seems that the body has been horribly mutilated and tortured – undoubtedly over a long period of time. Cardell is asked to help investigate by Cecil Winge, w ...more
Elizabeth George
Wow. This book is wonderful albeit brutal. It takes place in Stockholm in 1793, and the sense of place is sheer perfection. The translation is superb. It's a story of a brutal murder that is assigned to Cecil Winge who once worked for the police but is now dying of consumption. His henchman is one Mickel Cardell, a one-armed watchman in the city who uses his wooden prosthetic when necessary to club malefactors. This is a book of very few heroes and a lot of villains. It's part murder mystery, pa ...more
Peter Boyle
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This grisly page-turner was the cause of many late nights for me over the past week - I could never resist just one more chapter. What an impressive debut it is from Niklas Natt och Dag.

The story is set in Stockholm, the year 1793. When a body turns up in the city harbour, war veteran Mickel Cardell is initially disinterested. But the mutilated corpse haunts him, and he teams up with sickly lawyer Cecil Winge in order to solve the murder. Their inquiry reveals that the victim was horrifically to
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If the current state of humanity disgusts and disheartens you, The Wolf and the Watchman will do nothing to dissuade you of that notion.

It’s as bleak as it gets, a Dickensian world on steroids: Sweden in the late 18th century where bodies of water are filled with stench and bodies, where rats roam freely, hypocrisy (as ever) reigns and the populace struggles to survive. When you consider that one link to the story is a hideously deformed, limb-deprived victim who eats his own excrement, you hav
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English Translati...: NPR Books 2019 4 24 Dec 05, 2019 12:00PM  
Play Book Tag: The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag - 4 stars 4 22 Jun 30, 2019 10:20PM  

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Niklas Natt och Dag (“Night and Day”) debuted as an author with the historical literary novel 1793. Natt och Dag himself has an undeniable connection to Swedish history, being a member of the oldest surviving noble family in Sweden. When he isn’t writing or reading, Natt och Dag enjoys playing the guitar, mandolin, violin, or the Japanese bamboo flute, shakuhachi.

Niklas Natt och Dag lives in Stock

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