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, Stockholm. King Gustav of Sweden has been assassinated, years of foreign wars have emptied the treasuries, and the realm is governed by a self-interested elite, leaving its citizens to suffer. On the streets, malcontent and paranoia abound.
A body is found in the city's swamp by a watchman, Mickel Cardell, and the case is handed over to investigator Cecil Winge, who is dying of consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell become embroiled in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, and one death will expose a city rotten with corruption beneath its powdered and painted veneer.
The Wolf and the Watchman depicts the capacity for cruelty in the name of survival or greed - but also the capacity for love, friendship, and the desire for a better world.
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