Arne Dahl- The Blinded Man

Two of Sweden’s most powerful businessmen have been murdered. In the face of mounting panic amongst the financial elite, a task force has been created to catch the culprit before he kills again. To his surprise, Detective Paul Hjelm, currently under investigation for misconduct after shooting a man who took an immigration office hostage, is summoned to join the team. But the killer has left no clues – even removing the bullets from the crime scenes – and Hjelm and his new teammates face a daunting challenge if they are to uncover the connection between the murdered men and identify any potential victims before he strikes again…

This almost escaped my Scandinavian crime radar but I’m jolly glad it didn’t as I thoroughly enjoyed this taut and well-written thriller. This is the first of Dahl’s Intercrime series to hit British shelves (previously published as ‘Misterioso’ in reference to the killer’s particular use of background music) with the follow-up ‘Bad Blood’ due for release next year. Billed as Henning Mankell meets ‘The Wire’, an elite group of detectives strive to uncover the identity of a killer unceremoniously bumping off some of Sweden’s most influential business figures. Although ostensibly a perfectly sound police procedural, the gathering of this small band of detectives who comprise the wonderfully bland sounding A-Unit, really brings the plot together as they provide a picture perfect microcosm of race, gender, differing social backgrounds and in some cases dysfunctional personalities. This gives Dahl a free hand to play around with how these characters interact and work together as they track the killer and how their differing personalities result in moments of extreme wit (particularly in the mocking of other Scandinavian cultures) or dark pathos as some members of the team seem to have their fingers permanently on a self-destruct button. The plot is convoluted but well-structured to provide enough blind alleys to satisfy most crime readers and as normal (within the Scandinavian crime genre) there is ample opportunity for Dahl to bring in the usual socio-political perspective on Swedish society. An enjoyable debut from Dahl and definitely a series to warrant further investigation…


  1. I loved this book when I read the US edition last year (then titled Misterioso). I am so glad it got a UK publication but not so pleased they changed the title. Although this book was first published ages ago (& seems not to have managed to get a translation until the current S Larsson-induced vogue) it is not dated in any important aspects….little points such as the cassette tape don’t matter 😉

  2. I agree- I quite liked some of the little old-fashioned touches such as the tape and overall thought it was a very good read. Also a fan of Thelonious Monk which added to my enjoyment! 🙂

  3. This one is nothing compared to next one.
    Bad blood is a real pageturner.
    Hopefully you will have it in English soon.

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