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Extended Audio Sample Misterioso: A Crime Novel Audiobook, by Arne Dahl Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (754 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Arne Dahl Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Intercrime Series Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9780307913821
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After successfully—but bloodily—dismantling a complicated hostage situation at a bank in the suburbs of Stockholm, Detective Paul Hjelm is faced with the requisite investigation by Internal Affairs. It is a potentially career-ending inquiry, but he is plucked out of it by the National Criminal Police commissioner, who drops him into an elite task force of officers assembled from across the country to find an elusive killer with a sophisticated modus operandi and even more sophisticated tastes.
Targeting Sweden’s high-profile business leaders, the killer breaks into their homes at night, waits for his victims, places two bullets in their heads with deadly precision, and removes the bullets from the walls—a ritual enacted to a rare bootleg recording of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic “Misterioso.”
As Hjelm, his young, doggedly energetic partner, Jorge Chavez, and the rest of the team follow one lead after another in their pursuit—navigating the murky underworlds of the Russian Mafia and the secretive members-only society of Sweden’s wealthiest denizens—they must also delve into one of the country’s most persistent ills: a deep-rooted xenophobia that affects both the police and the perpetrator in a small nation that is becoming rapidly internationalized.
The first novel in Arne Dahl’s gripping Intercrime series—widely considered to be one of Sweden’s best—Misterioso is a penetrating, dark, and absorbing introduction to this acclaimed author’s world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A truly fine crime novel. The Advocate
  • It seems as though Sweden has once again produced a brilliant and socially engaged crime novelist. Fyens Stiftstidende (Denmark)
  • Misterioso is a detective story you have to read; as a debut novel it couldn’t be better. Xzine (Germany)
  • Arne Dahl is phenomenal . . . Few Swedish crime novelists, if any, can get the reader to rush through each page like Dahl. Expressen (Sweden)
  • With Misterioso, Arne Dahl, an acclaimed master of the crime genre, has delivered one of his most intensely intriguing thrillers. Corriere Della Sera (Italy)
  • Dahl’s character studies of people in vulnerable situations are in the top class of the European detective novel genre. Die Zeit (Germany)
  • [A] superb police procedural…Dahl has created a brilliant character and a terrific story, and should that not be enough, this is a classic cop-shop tale of the old school. The Globe and Mail (Canada)
  • Arne Dahl's Misterioso is an endearingly dour procedural…[The] existential brooding is very much part of the novel's charm…most of the fun of Misterioso comes from the follow-the-power, follow-the-money games played by Hjelm and his associates. And while Dahl clearly sees detective fiction as having the ability to tackle hard-hitting issues of the day, the mystery's solution isn't lacking in good old-fashioned puzzle intrigue, either. Portland Mercury (US)
  • Misterioso is a unique and wonderful book. It is part mystery, part police procedural, part existential philosophy, and part comedy. There is something so distinctive about this book that it resists categorization… There is not a dull moment. It seems like the Scandinavians are having a true renaissance in crime writing and Arne Dahl is right at the top. Mostly Fiction
  • Although this is Mankell’s turf, Dahl handles it differently but also very successfully. Mystery devotees who loved Mankell’s Kurt Wallander, and crime fiction ‘lifers’ who still treasure Sjowall’s and Wahloo’s Martin Beck, will want to add Paul Hjelm to their short lists of international favorites. Booklist (starred)
  • An exciting debut…Fans of hard-boiled detective and Swedish novels will enjoy this. Library Journal
  • Thoughtfully haunting and sometimes beautifully written, the first of Hjelm’s cases to be translated into English is likely to resonate with readers of the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Kirkus (starred)
  • This is, without a doubt, one of the best Swedish crime novels of the year; well-written . . . and a chilling blow to the ways of contemporary society. Götesborgs-Posten (Sweden)
  • A masterly crime novel. Kristelig Dagblad (Denmark)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Iulia | 2/12/2014

    " Good detective mystery. Poor translation. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dorian | 2/4/2014

    " Read this over the summer and it hasn't really stayed with me. Like many mysteries, the first half is great and the second disappointing. But a lot of crime series that I quite like (Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin) started out pretty limply, and I have a hunch this one gets better. (I gather there a ton of them in Swedish; here's hoping the Scando-crime boom last long enough for them to be translated). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corny | 1/26/2014

    " A really clever offbeat Swedish crime novel, the first of a trilogy by Arne Dahl. The rest of the trilogy doesn't appear to have been translated yet. Alternatively weaving suspense with dry humor, the author gives us a complex story of serial killings and Russian mafia warfare. The major characters who will appear again in the next book are members of an elite Swedish Police unit nicknamed the A-Team. We see all their flaws, which makes this story all the more interesting. Although it helps to know some Swedish geography, it is not necessary for enjoyment of the book. However, there are times when the translation fails. This is perhaps because you would have to be Swedish to understand a particular remark;I am unsure. All in all I was most entertained by this band of misfit detectives, whose personal lives are a mess and whose professional skills are top drawer. A really good read for the genre. Beware, it starts slowly! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kb | 1/22/2014

    " I'm calling it read, but I didn't finish it. This book failed to capture my attention -- well, except in a negative way, with an incident between the protagonist and his wife very early in the book. So, the official police business is boring (the political concerns of a post-Cold War, pre-9/11 world just don't seem to resonate any more), and the domestic scenes are repulsive. It might be a great book in spite of my assessment, but there is nothing here to make me want to continue reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Al Stoess | 1/10/2014

    " Too many characters. Especially difficult with all the Swedish and Finnish names. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Weaverannie | 12/29/2013

    " A book with a little too much testosteron. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Vivian | 12/15/2013

    " About 150 pages into this highly praised book, I gave up on it. Although I liked the character of Paul Hjelm, I found the storyline uninteresting and I couldn't get past that. I may or may not try the next in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grant | 12/13/2013

    " This was a fantastic book. Well written, great characters, and enough plot twists and turns to keep the reader deeply engaged in the story. I can't wait for the next one in the series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Cavosie | 12/10/2013

    " I'm compiling the Leonard Cohen soundtrack. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/9/2013

    " This crime drama is very procedural (which slows down the pace). However, I still enjoyed it. You are in the thick of the investigation with all of its ups and downs. The characters are well fleshed out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 12/9/2013

    " The writing is decent, but it definitely wasn't a page-turner for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Damian | 11/23/2013

    " Sehr gut geschrieben und packend. Die Charakterbeschreibungen kann man sich sofort bildlich vorstellen. Werde mehr von "Arne Dahl" lesen "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 9/1/2013

    " ... didn't enjoy it enough to finish it. But perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for another damaged-loner-cop-saves-lives-but-not-his-spirit story. It was too unlikely a scenerio, even for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorothy | 8/28/2013

    " This was a little rough slogging in the beginning but I found it compelling as I got further in to it. It is translated from the original Swedish and the first of a series about a special crime task force. I am interested in reading more of the books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Naughton | 7/18/2013

    " Another set of appealing Scandinavian cops. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harry Lane | 5/20/2013

    " Scandinavian police procedural. Lots of characters to keep track of, and in the end the motivation of the villain seems thin. Despite these minor quibbles, I found the book quite enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judith | 4/2/2013

    " Interesting, for the most part. There were sections, particularly the sex scenes, that were less than credible, but it was good enough that I'll read the sequel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 3/24/2013

    " Excellent characters. Fast moving and hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vionna | 2/18/2013

    " This book certainly doesn't grab you. I found the characters lackluster and the plot plodding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce | 1/24/2013

    " Al op TV gezien, niet uitgelezen "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenneth Fredette | 12/7/2012

    " I thought this was a good book. Way to go. You have to wait for the next installment to find out, was it his wife or his new love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Strategic | 3/24/2012

    " One of the best detective stories I've ever read. Dahl definitely got it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane S. | 10/24/2011

    " 3 1/2 This one is a little different than the other Nordic offerings. Not so much a mystery as a solid police procedural, great development of characters though. Will definitely be reading more from this author. "

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About the Author
Author Arne Dahl

Arne Dahl is an award-winning crime novelist and literary critic. He lives in Sweden.

About the Narrator

John Lee has narrated more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.