The Wolf and the Watchman
By Niklas Natt och Dag
A gripping debut novel immersed in historical noir
Best Debut, The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award 2017
'Thrilling, unnerving, clever and beautiful' Fredrik Backman
The year is 1793. Over a year has passed since the death of Gustav III of Sweden and the nation is ruled with an iron fist by lord of the realm Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm. In the wake of the old king's passing, trust has turned into a sparse commodity. Paranoia and whispered conspiracies can be found at every corner.
A mutilated body is discovered in the malodorous waters of Fatburen Lake on the island of Södermalm. Missing both its legs and arms, the body has been disfigured beyond recognition. Though Cecil Winge of the Stockholm Police is himself marked for an early death by consumption, he takes on the case of solving the mystery of the Fatburen corpse. Cecil soon finds himself entangled in a web of dark secrets and boundless evil, a web with threads reaching all the way to the upper echelons of Stockholm society.
In his debut novel The Wolf and the Watchman, Niklas Natt och Dag paints a compelling portrait of late 18th century Stockholm, the frightful yet fascinating reality lurking behind the powdered and painted veneer of the era.
Niklas Natt och Dag is a member of the oldest surviving noble family in Sweden. His ancestors were responsible for the murder of the rebel Engelbrekt in 1436, commanded the army that lost Stockholm to the Danes in 1520, and were forced into exile after having demanded the abdication of Charles XIV in 1810. His surname, Natt och Dag, translates into Night and Day. The origin of this slightly unusual name is the family crest, a shield split horizontally in gold and blue.
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- Publication date:
07 Feb 2019
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A well-depicted historical murder mystery filled with cruelty as well as warmth and humanity — Best Debut, Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Award 2017
This is a thrilling, unnerving, clever and beautiful story. Reading it is like giving a little gift to oneself — Fredrik Backman