Borkmann’s Point


BORKMANN’S POINT by Håkan Nesser. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

This is the first of the Chief Inspector Van Veeteren books I have read. Set in the quiet Swedish town of Kaalbringen, Van Veeteren must find a man with an axe.

“A wealthy real-estate mogul is brutally murdered with an axe… apparently the second victim of a serial killer. Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, growing bored with his holiday nearby, is summoned to assist the local authorities. But as the investigation proceeds there seems to be nothing to link the mogul with the fist victim, a seedy ex-con and the police have no leads.

Then another body is discovered,  again with no apparent connection to the others, and the pressure mounts. The local police chief who is just days away from retirement is determined to wrap things up before he goes. Then there’s another murder, and one of Van Veeteren’s colleagues, a brilliant young female detective, goes missing – perhaps she has reached Borkmann’s Point before anyone else …” (Taken from the blurb on the back the book.

So what is Borkmann’s Point?

“There was an old rule that occasionally used to crop up, which he had no doubt inherited from Borkmann, one of the few police officers he’d come across for whom he had nothing but respect and admiration.. .

Borkmann’s rule was hardly a rule; in fact, it was more of a comment, a land-mark for tricky cases.

In every investigation, he maintained, there comes a point beyond which we don’t really need any more information. when we reach that point, we already know enough to solve the case by means of nothing more than some decent thinking. A good investigator should try to establish when that point has been reached, or rather, when it has passed …” (p232-232)

Nesser uses all the tools of a good police procedural. His main character, Van Veeteren, the man with a huge appetite for Danish Pastries and a disillusionment with life in general, is a dogged detective with a mind of his own. He is joined by a cast of predictable characters from the ambitious detective, Inspector Beate Moerk, the confusedly married Münster, the incredibly dumb and inept policeman, Bang, and the soon to be retired Chief Bausen.

Along the way we have a variety of well placed and smelly red-herrings which kept this reader puzzled until the unexpected, final denouement.

Title: Borkmann’s Point

Author: Håkan Nesser

Translated by: Laurie Thompson

Publisher Macmillan, 2006

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