Title: The Wolf and the Watchman
Author: Niklas Natt och Dag
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: March 5, 2019 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "It is 1793. Four years
after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after
the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered
conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles
in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the
whims of those in power.
When Mickel Cardell, a crippled
ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in
the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the
unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer
turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no
arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set
things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge
and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity,
encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite. Meanwhile,
Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the
alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His
letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible
misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.
corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the
workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan
takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim."
My Two Cents:
"The Wolf and the Watchman" is a gritty, noir of a historical mystery. Taking place in the late 1700s, we meet three characters: a watchman, a detective, and a woman trying to outrun a bad reputation. Each of their stories are initially told separately, giving sort of a short story feel to the book initially. Then the author brings them together for some shocking results that kept me reading. This book took a bit for me to see where it was going but it had some great action that kept me going until the pieces started coming together.
The writing of the book was good. The author uses a lot of description and I loved the way that he was able to weave so much into the background of the book. All the description really kept me going. I must say that some of it may prove a bit much for some readers; some of the descriptions may be too gritty. It worked really well for me though because it made me appreciate more what the characters are seeing and doing throughout the book.
I loved the sense of the scenery that the author created in this book. I haven't read all that much about Sweden and certainly not much at all set in this time period. I loved the dark world of Stockholm that the author created. He gives a lot of good detail and this book proved to be quite atmospheric. It does take awhile for all of the pieces to begin to come together (well over half of the book) and I did wish that it moved a bit faster but overall, this was still a good historical mystery!