The Return

An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery

Publisher: Anchor Canada
The author of Borkmann’s Point spins a story that leaves even the most veteran crime novel readers chilled.

A new case for Chief Inspector Van Veeteren – the complicated history of a nearly perfect murder. On a sunny August day a man is released from prison. On a rainy April day children at play find his corpse. The fact that the dead man is Leopold Verhaven only becomes clear after some time because the mutilated corpse is without its head, legs and feet. Who would be interested in killing this man, a double murderer who spent 24 years in prison?

Determined to let no case go unsolved, Chief Inspector Van Veeteren reopens the case. What he discovers is that Verhaven was a star sprinter before he went to prison for allegedly killing two of his lovers. However, he never confessed to the murders and spent a lifetime proclaiming his innocence. Was he killed because someone thought he had not been punished enough? Or was someone afraid of Verhaven’s revenge? A terrible suspicion stalks Van Veeteren: had Verhaven been telling the truth? Was he really innocent?

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter 1

It was the first and the last day.

The steel door was locked behind him and the metallic click hovered for a while in the cool morning air. He took four paces, paused and put down his suitcase. Closed his eyes, then opened them again.

A thin morning mist hung over the deserted car park...
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“Tense and clever.”–The Times Online (UK)
“[Nesser] shows why he is enjoying a fast-growing reputation in mystery circles in this swift and clever puzzler, which includes some of his more complex exercises in narrative taste.” —The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)

From the Hardcover edition.