Mind's Eye : Inspector Van Veeteren

  • by Håkan Nesser, Laurie Thompson (translator)
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: Inspector Van Veeteren
  • 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knew that murder cases were never as open-and-shut as this one: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months lying facedown in the bathtub, dead. With only the flimsiest excuse as his defense, he is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and imprisoned in a mental institution.
But Van Veeteren's suspicions about the identity of the killer are borne out when Mitter also becomes a murder victim. Now the chief inspector launches a full-scale investigation of the two slayings. But it may only be the unspoken secrets of the dead - revealed in a mysterious letter that Mitter wrote shortly before his death - that will finally allow Van Veeteren to unmask the killer and expose the shocking root of this sordid violence.

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What the Critics Say

"Snappish, sardonic, unsentimental, depressed, and quite possibly psychic, Van Veeteren is the most appealingly unlovable hero since TV's crabby physician House." (O, The Oprah Magazine)
"In a class of its own.... This stunning novel by one of Sweden's foremost crime writers might have been written as a script for Alfred Hitchcock. (The Sunday Times)
"Mind's Eye satisfies on every level. It is an intelligently written, cleverly plotted tale, populated with believable characters.... Nesser was superb right out of the gate." (BookPage)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A GOOD MYSTERY

I usually don't like mysteries that jump around and don't stay focused on the detective.

This mystery focuses on the point of view of a murder suspect and also the detective. Still, the writing and plotting is so good, and the detective appealing, so it did not matter. I really eased into this book without any trouble and enjoyed it tremendously.

The narration is excellent. Van Veteeren is, on the surface, not very interesting, but then we realize he is weirdly intuitive. He's quite likeable ultimately.

This is not a novel full of insane serial killers and gore (although it has its graphic parts). It's not Jo Nesbo (thank God, I think Nesbo is horrible). It's not frenetic and freaky like Lars Kepler (The Hypnotist). It is more in line with Henning Mankell, though Van Veteeren, based on this one novel, does not seem as troubled as Wallander, and is not put in as many adventure type situations.

Bottom Line: Nesser is a smart writer and this book is very solid and satisfying. The mystery is smart and keeps you interested. I am looking forward to experiencing the other books in the series. I'm saving them and I'm going to pace myself so as to not burn through them too quick.
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- chris "I am exploring Scandinavian mysteries but also like mysteries set in other parts of the world. I also like reading Literary Fiction."

Disappointing in every way

I don't know how Nesser has won awards for his mysteries (including this one) if this first in the series is anything to go by. I'm a huge fan of Scandinavian crime writers (Mankell, Sjowall and Wahloo) but this one left me cold. The author "cheats" by simply withholding information so that only the detective (who is poorly developed as a character) knows stuff and we as the audience are just told that he has figured it out. For me, the point of mysteries is 1) getting to know the characters and 2) following along and trying to solve the crime myself. This book allowed for neither.

The narrator, Simon Vance, also left a great deal to be desired. So many wonderful narrators out there, but this fellow really fell flat - poor at nuancing various characters so you know who is speaking, and fairly expressionless all around. Nesser and Vance are a particularly bad combo because Nesser has the irritating habit of starting chapters with "he", leaving the reader with no idea which "he" in the story is meant. Add to that Vance's inability to voice multiple distinctive characters and the result is a lot of confusion. After a while I stopped caring. If you haven't already, go for the Henning Mankell series, or the marvelous early books by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, from which Mankell borrows *heavily.*
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- Anthony

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-14-2011
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books