The Return: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (3) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is forced to unlock the secrets of a nearly perfect murder in this taut psychological thriller.
On a rainy April day, a body—or what is left of it—is found by a young girl. Wrapped in a blanket with no hands, feet, or head, it signals the work of a brutal, methodical killer. The victim, Leopold Verhaven, was a track star before he was convicted for killing two of his ex-lovers. He consistently proclaimed his innocence, however, and was killed on the day of his return to society. This latest murder is more than a little perplexing and Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is determined to discover the truth, even if it means taking the law into his own hands.
agreement is a sort of murky bond between them, but it is only now that she has begun to appreciate the price. The counterbalance. The incomprehensible horror on the other side of the scales. Everything has its price, but she has not had any choice. There can be no question of guilt regarding her decision and her action—she knows all too well what would be the outcome of giving herself again to this man, even though he is her husband and the father of her child. There is medical advice as well;
pocket and studied it carefully before making a cautious attempt to adjust the angle of his chair backward. Hmm, not bad, he thought. This must be the perfect chair for interrogations. Although the victim should ideally be sitting on a three-legged stool. Or a wooden packing case. “Well?” he said. “My testimony? Er, the thing is, I happened to be walking past and I saw them, behind the Covered Market.” “Saw who?” “Him and her, of course. Verhaven and that woman he murdered…Marlene Nietsch.”
endless monologue about dragons and monsters and soccer players. He stood up and positioned himself behind his wife. Caressed the back of her head. Placed his hand inside her robe and gently squeezed her breast—and he suddenly felt pain creeping up upon him: a chilling fear, but also a realization, that this moment must pass. This second of absolute and perfect happiness—one of the ten to twelve that comprised a whole life, and was possibly even the meaning of it… Or so he understood it. If you
that much to scratch around in up there?” Van Veeteren shrugged. “There was a bit,” he said. “I had a chat with the neighbors on the way down as well. Had a beer with the Czermaks. It was all go.” He wiped his forehead. Münster waited, but the chief inspector said nothing more. “Did you get anywhere?” Münster asked eventually. “Hmm,” said Van Veeteren. “I think so. Let’s be off, then.” As usual, Münster thought, slumping down behind the wheel. Just the same as ever. “Where exactly did you
to you. You are a bastard; don’t be misled by my friendly tone.” Jahrens’s cheek muscle twitched several times, but he said nothing. “The only thing I’m not a hundred percent certain of is the motive. Although I’m pretty sure about that in outline even so. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I said. On April sixth, 1962, a Saturday, you go up to Verhaven’s house in the woods because you know Beatrice Holden is alone there. Presumably you’ve waited until the electrician finished what he was doing, and