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Book Title: Unlucky Lottery|
ISBN 13: 9780230753327
The author of the book: Håkan Nesser
Edition: MacMillan Hardback Omes
Date of issue: October 1st 2011
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.36 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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As a big fan of this excellent series by Håkan Nesser I readily confess to having a particular fascination with Chief Inspector Van Veeteren. In this book, Van Veeteren is on sabbatical, happily wiling away the hours in Krantze’s antiquarian bookshop, supping red wine and “becoming acquainted with the stock”. Although Chief of Police Hiller is hoping that the great man will change his mind, he seems determined not to return to the travails of law enforcement after a career of more than thirty-years. Despite occasional ‘consultations’ on certain investigations, Van Veeteren isn’t an ever present character and does not appear until almost a quarter of the way through in this novel, however his philosophical pearls of wisdom and influence on the wider team is very much in evidence. The Unlucky Lottery therefore makes a great transition read with Van Veeteren distanced from matters, thereby allowing the lesser characters within his team to develop and emerge from the shadows. On the evidence of The Unlucky Lottery I feel that Nesser has provided some brilliantly distinctive characters with huge potential, most significantly Inspectors Münster and Ewa Moreno. The quintessential dry humour of author Håkan Nesser is a given and this fascinating case well and truly kept me on my toes!
Four retired gentlemen ranging in age from sixty-nine to seventy-two years of age discover the shock news that they have had an unexpected windfall on the lottery, winning a combined total of €20,000 and leaving them all richer to the tune of €5,000. Venturing out to celebrate their good fortune they head to their regular haunt with an extra spring in their step. Hours later one of the four men, Waldemar Leverkuhn, is discovered stabbed to death with in excess of twenty wounds. Wife Marie-Louise returns home and discovers the bloodbath and in the absence of Van Veeteren, Inspector Münster heads up the investigation. The lack of forensic clues along with the failure of the fellow residents living in the block to provide any witness accounts leaves Münster with a single starting point; the three other companions who he shared his final night in the company of - Felix Bonger, Benjamin Wauters and Jan Palinski. However, both Wauters and Palinski remain tight-lipped and Bonger promptly goes missing, and it falls to their waitress to share her suspicions of their good fortune.
The weapon - a carving knife - is the only thing that appears to be missing from the crime scene with the door left unlocked, but the frosty reception from the murdered man's wife and children concerns Münster and Moreno. The widower is taken under the wing of her former colleague, Emmeline Von Post, her only friend with daughter, Ruth, and son Mauritz, both keeping their distance and eldest daughter, Irene, resident in a psychiatric hospital for the preceding four years. Whilst Münster and his team recognise that it is easy to be judgmental about others familial relationships the investigation gets nowhere fast despite the brutality of the murder suggesting a frenzied attack with a long-standing hatred the motive. With forward progress stalled and Felix Bonger never appearing to even have made it home on the night in question, the disappearance of the caretakers wife from the block where Leverkuhn lived pushes Münster and Moreno to keep pursuing the matter. Venturing far and wide they question old colleagues and neighbours alike, but the behaviour of the family increasingly causes them to look closer to home with Van Veeteren’s advice proving truer than ever. Glossing over some clear questions surrounding doctor and patient confidentiality, despite the bleak revelations it is a joy to see Münster and Moreno assuming the mantle of Van Veeteren. With the Maardam team faced with three pensioners, one murder and two disappearances, working out the common denominator that links all three proves crucial as time moves on in a fascinating investigation.
Inspectors Münster and Moreno both have interesting personal circumstance and are multifaceted, with family man Münster’s workload and his wife's depression creating problems with his domestic circumstances. Inspector Moreno meanwhile has recently ended her relationship with Claus Badher, her long-term boyfriend of five-years and the obvious attraction between the two compliments a close working team. Despite Münster being reluctant to bother his prosaic mentor he attempts to follow his advice throughout this investigation reflecting on some of his choice advice, specifically that police work is rather like life and ninety five per cent of it is wasted!Despite Van Veeteren’s “bad-tempered expositions and gloomy observations” it is Münster that highlights the clear and “incorruptible spirit present under the surface”, and to a large extent this remains true even with Van Veeteren slightly removed from the action. Another excellent instalment in a wonderful series.
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Read information about the authorHåkan Nesser is a Swedish author and teacher who has written a number of successful crime fiction novels. He has won Best Swedish Crime Novel Award three times, and his novel Carambole won the Glass Key award in 2000. His books have been translated from Swedish into numerous languages.
Håkan Nesser was born and grew up in Kumla, and has lived most of his adult life in Uppsala. His first novel was published in 1988, but he worked as a teacher until 1998 when he became a full-time author. In August, 2006, Håkan Nesser and his wife Elke moved to Greenwich Village in New York.
* Inspector Van Veeteren
* Inspector Barbarotti
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