cover image Misterioso


Arne Dahl, trans. from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally. Pantheon, $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-375-42535-6

Originally published in Sweden in 1999, the first in Dahl's acclaimed Intercrime trilogy focuses on the A-Unit, a freshly formed elite team of six mavericks and misfits from various police units. Typical is Paul Hjelm, who was about to lose his job for the unorthodox handling of a hostage situation. The author artfully fills in the disparate backgrounds of the other four men and one woman, each of whom emerges as a substantial, nuanced character. Plot, though, is not Dahl's strong suit. A less than compelling story line, full of Stockholm street names, leaves the reader floundering in clueless murders for too long, burdened with extended lists of possibilities that don't pan out and a lot of talk about corporations and their board members, some of whom are thought to be possible targets of the media-dubbed "Power Murderer." Eventually, clues come pouring in and the pace picks up. (July)