Matt's Reviews > Borkmann's Point

Borkmann's Point by Håkan Nesser
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M 50x66
's review
Mar 20, 2011

liked it

Continuing my exploration of Scandinavian crime fiction.... This might be the most classicist of the ones I read, since the title character, with his love esp of chess and conversation and classical music really reminds me of Maigret.

The story itself is pretty good, except for being upended by a kind of silly twist as to "whodunit"-- there's an ax murderer attacking seemingly unrelated people, and Van Veteeren and his aide-de-camp Munster, along with Beate Moerke, the plucky female detective of the resort town of Kaalingen where the murder's occur, will solve it.

The Borkman's Point of the title refers to advice from Van Veteeren's mentor, and describes the point at which you have all the info you need and when everything new is a distraction. I actually kind of like the concept, though I wonder how it's deployed here-- in other words, I'm not sure the resolution of the plot really endorses Borkman's theory.

In sum, the book is decent but not great-- I can see how some people might see Van Veteeren as a little vanilla, and with a couple more books that resolve as this one does, a little in the Murder, She Wrote, Father Dowling camp. But this one book, by itself, is pretty appealing.

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