Sunday, March 2, 2014

Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)Münsters Fall by Håkan Nesser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Munster's Case" is the fifth novel that I read in Hakan Nesser's series of mysteries featuring inspector Van Veeteren. Intendent Munster, who had worked under Van Veeteren for a long time, has to solve the brutal murder of a retired man, who happened to learn, on the day of his death, that he - along with his three friends - won money in a lottery. Then, some people connected to the victim disappear and the case becomes quite complicated. Intendent Munster and his colleagues have difficult time trying to find what really happened. Even the retired inspector Van Veeteren is called upon to help.

No more information can be given if one wants to avoid spoilers. I found the plot interesting and the denouement plausible if a little disappointing. Again, I can't say more about the ending without spoiling it, but there is more to it. The characterizations are a little thin as might be expected considering this is a series of novels, which means that Mr. Nesser basically rewrites the same book for the n-th time.

There is a lot of sarcastic humor in this novel, and it reads very well. More importantly, as all previous novels by Mr. Nesser, "Munster's Case" takes place in a fictitious country in Northern Europe. The country is a composite of Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, and even a little of Poland. All geographical names and people names sound Swedish, German, Dutch, or Polish. This is one of the cleverest literary devices I have encountered in my life. (Full disclosure: my enthusiasm might be due to being born in one of these countries.)

Another aspect I quite like is that most (almost all) characters in the novel are old. It feels like Mr. Nesser is saying that young people are irrelevant. Being almost the same age as the author, I agree with his opinion.

This book rates three and a half stars for me, but since all previous Nesser's books would be four stars, then I rate it at

Three stars.

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