‘The Wolf and the Watchman’ by Niklas Natt och Dag

It is 1793…’

This is a complex mystery novel set in Stockholm in the 18th Century after the gruesome discovery of a body in a swamp. It has quite a gothic feel to it, which I really like. The writing is rich and holds your attention without leaving the plot behind, it’s not a quick read but it’s richness makes it worth it.
The story is split into narrative parts with different character focuses before finally coming together towards the end. It is shocking at times and certainly gruesome, if you’re squeamish for that sort of thing.
I really enjoyed the gritty descriptions of the city, its bleakness and poverty.
The two men drawn into the investigation are a lawyer, Cecil Winge, and the watchman, Mickell Cardell, who discovered the body and this works really well, drawing obligation and justice themes into the story-telling. Another section of the book is about a man called Blix, who was hired by the murderer and who writes his story to his sister, Anna.
It’s a hard read, and stomach turning at times as evil will be, and at times I didn’t want to keep reading, but felt compelled to.

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