Mind’s Eye

Håkan Nesser was awarded the 1993 Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy Prize for new authors for his novel The Mind’s Eye (published in Sweden as The Wide-Mesh Net). He has written ten in the Van Vetteren series, two in the new Gunnar Barbarotti series, and two stand-alone novels.

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is taciturn to a fault, a little too demanding, and unwilling to share what he knows with his team. In this case, a history teacher wakes up with a hangover so powerful he can’t remember his own name, but when he discovers his wife submerged in their bathtub, he remembers her name and his own, but not how she died.

He maintained his memory laps as his only defence during the investigation and the trial. He is found guilty and sent to a mental hospital for examination. While there, he is murdered.

Van Veeteren must discover who committed both murders because the teacher did not do it. The search culls through a list of several hundred people, eventually narrowing down to one, but which one? The clues are there but I missed them. See if you can do a little better.

I like the book even though Van Veeteren is not as likeable as some inspectors. We cannot question his dedication, however.

Mike Lawrence

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