• by Arne Dahl, Tiina Nunnally (translator)
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After successfully - but bloodily - dismantling a complicated hostage situation at a bank in the suburbs of Stockholm, Detective Paul Hjelm is faced with the requisite investigation by Internal Affairs. It is a potentially career-ending inquiry, but he is plucked out of it by the National Criminal Police commissioner, who drops him into an elite task force of officers assembled from across the country to find an elusive killer with a sophisticated modus operandi and even more sophisticated tastes.
Targeting Sweden’s high-profile business leaders, the killer breaks into their homes at night, waits for his victims, places two bullets in their heads with deadly precision, and removes the bullets from the walls - a ritual enacted to a rare bootleg recording of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic “Misterioso”.
As Hjelm, his young, doggedly energetic partner, Jorge Chavez, and the rest of the team follow one lead after another in their pursuit - navigating the murky underworlds of the Russian Mafia and the secretive members-only society of Sweden’s wealthiest denizens - they must also delve into one of the country’s most persistent ills: a deep-rooted xenophobia that affects both the police and the perpetrator in a small nation that is becoming rapidly internationalized.
The first novel in Arne Dahl’s gripping Intercrime series - widely considered to be one of Sweden’s best - Misterioso is a penetrating, dark, and absorbing introduction to this acclaimed author’s world.


What the Critics Say

“This is, without a doubt, one of the best Swedish crime novels of the year; well-written... and a chilling blow to the ways of contemporary society.” (Götesborgs-Posten, Sweden)
“A masterly crime novel.” (Kristelig Dagblad, Denmark)
“It seems as though Sweden has once again produced a brilliant and socially engaged crime novelist.” (Fyens Stiftstidende, Denmark)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The impact of Scandinavian crime writing on the English-speaking world, whether in novels or television series such as the incomparable 'Forbrydelsen', means that any newly translated author is going to be judged against fearsomely high standards. Certainly Arne Dahl suffers in comparison with Henkell, Fossum or Lackberg;' Misterioso' combines a rambling plot with passages of such irritatingly obsessive detail that I came near to giving up at the end of the first part. Fortunately weaknesses in the story-telling are offset by the strength of the characters, both major (a disparate group of police officers brought together to track down a serial killer) and minor (including a down-and-out bankrupt body-builder and vodka connoisseur, the hilariously frank, disillusioned wife of a Swedish magnate, a small town police inspector whose hopes of impressing his big city colleagues evaporate when he realises he has overlooked a vital clue, and a physically-wrecked retired soldier with an uncanny understanding of jazz [jazz plays a central part in the book]).
In the end, I was glad I persevered. The plot strands come together in a satisfyingly tense climax that neatly mirrors an earlier, life-changing experience of the leading detective, and as in Henning Mankell's books, we learn much about the stresses placed on Swedish society by an increasingly diverse ethnic population and the country's proximity to the mafia-ravaged satellite states of the old USSR.
And, by the way, the elite club of mystery-reading darts players can safely add 'Misterioso' to the (very) short list of books not to be missed (the other is Ngaio Marsh's 'Death at the Bar' - happily also available from Audible!).
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- Em

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-07-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio