This is another book in the series of books about Inspector Van Veeteren. Just like Sjowall & Wahloo’s famous series about Martin Beck, the series about Van Veeteren consists of 10 books. In Woman with Birthmark, the police in Maardam have to solve a series of brutal murders with excessive use of violence.
In the book we meet a mother’s dying wish sealed with a deadly promise. Four men with a secret they thought they’d buried decades ago. And a detective in love. We also meet a man desperate to live despite the shadow of his guilty past.
A woman, Maria Adler, buries her mother. Having heard her mother’s confession, Maria realizes she has no other option but to seize upon her mother’s imperative to do something. Dissolving the life she loathes, Maria changes her appearance and disappears. Using a false name, she travels to a different city. The purpose of the trip is to seek revenge by killing. First she plays an old tune that she has recorded over the phone. Then she shoots her first victim, twice in the chest and twice in the crotch. The next killing is done the same way.
Van Veeteren has little to go on. The first victim was a quiet, dull man, and the only suspicious activity his surviving wife can recall is a series of peculiar phone calls. Repeatedly the telephone would ring, offering nothing but the words of an obscure pop song from the 1960s.
The murders in Woman with Birthmark are almost perfectly executed – no witnesses, no sound, no traces. But what is the motive? The link between these heinous crimes remains unknown. Van Veeteren is forced to dig into the past to find possible motives.
With the critical eye and cool observation necessary for a successful chess match, Van Veeteren pursues his subject across the country, wading through outrageous leads and fruitless tips. A breathless thriller full of deception, blackmail, and cold murder, Woman with Birthmark is a chilling, elegantly composed crime book. A new great Scandinavian crime fiction book!