The irascible, obdurate, and very thirsty Detective Superintendent Evert Bäckström of the National Murder Squad returns in a new novel from the reigning master of Scandinavian fiction.
It’s the dead of summer in the sleepy town of Växjö when twenty-year-old police cadet Linda Wallin is found lying facedown in her mother’s apartment, brutally murdered and raped. With no clear motive or suspect in sight, a series of bureaucratic mix-ups causes the National Crime Unit to send Bäckström and his team into the countryside to solve the case. The ever-irritable Bäckström leaves his beloved goldfish behind, checks into a local hotel, and begins to reconstruct the night of Linda’s murder. But with more than a few bottles in tow, and a constantly growling stomach to look after, things don’t go so well, and Bäckström has to rely on the help of his colleagues to solve the crime—no matter how angry that makes him.
From a master of Scandinavian crime fiction–the first in a brilliant series of novels centered around the investigations of one irascible, obdurate, and very thirsty Swedish police officer: Detective Superintendent Evert Bäckström of the National Murder Squad.
Detective Bäckström is Persson’s persistently repulsive yet undeniably brilliant comic creation–an unforgettable cop winding his way through the black comedy of a crime scene, and managing to upset nearly everyone in the process.When a newspaper delivery boy finds a 68 year-old alcoholic lying dead in his apartment–beaten with a saucepan lid and hammer, and then strangled–everyone expects an open-and-shut murder case, everyone that is but Hawaiian-shirt clad Detective Bäckström who’s been assigned to lead the investigation team. Under strict orders from his doctor to improve his health as quickly as possible, Bäckström has begun stumbling to work on foot, and even eating vegetables. The police force isn’t what it used to be though, and now that it’s crowded with women and foreigners resisting a drink is harder than ever before. But when the newspaper boy goes missing Bäckström’s suspicions are proven correct, giving his irrepressible mix of luck and laziness a chance to save the day, while managing to upset nearly everyone in the process.