Mind's Eye

An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: Inspector Van Veeteren, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (270 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Chief Inspector Van Veeteren knew that murder cases were never as open-and-shut as this one: Janek Mitter woke one morning with a brutal hangover and discovered his wife of three months lying facedown in the bathtub, dead. With only the flimsiest excuse as his defense, he is found guilty of a drunken crime of passion and imprisoned in a mental institution.

But Van Veeteren's suspicions about the identity of the killer are borne out when Mitter also becomes a murder victim. Now the chief inspector launches a full-scale investigation of the two slayings. But it may only be the unspoken secrets of the dead - revealed in a mysterious letter that Mitter wrote shortly before his death - that will finally allow Van Veeteren to unmask the killer and expose the shocking root of this sordid violence.

©1993 Original material by Håkan Nesser. Originally published in Sweden as Det grovmaskiga nätet by Albert Bonniers Förlag AB, Stockholm. Translation © 2008 by Laurie Thompson. Recorded by arrangement with Pantheon, an imprint of the Knopf Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. (P)2011 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Snappish, sardonic, unsentimental, depressed, and quite possibly psychic, Van Veeteren is the most appealingly unlovable hero since TV's crabby physician House." ( O, The Oprah Magazine)
"In a class of its own.... This stunning novel by one of Sweden's foremost crime writers might have been written as a script for Alfred Hitchcock. ( The Sunday Times)
" Mind's Eye satisfies on every level. It is an intelligently written, cleverly plotted tale, populated with believable characters.... Nesser was superb right out of the gate." ( BookPage)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A GOOD MYSTERY

I usually don't like mysteries that jump around and don't stay focused on the detective.

This mystery focuses on the point of view of a murder suspect and also the detective. Still, the writing and plotting is so good, and the detective appealing, so it did not matter. I really eased into this book without any trouble and enjoyed it tremendously.

The narration is excellent. Van Veteeren is, on the surface, not very interesting, but then we realize he is weirdly intuitive. He's quite likeable ultimately.

This is not a novel full of insane serial killers and gore (although it has its graphic parts). It's not Jo Nesbo (thank God, I think Nesbo is horrible). It's not frenetic and freaky like Lars Kepler (The Hypnotist). It is more in line with Henning Mankell, though Van Veteeren, based on this one novel, does not seem as troubled as Wallander, and is not put in as many adventure type situations.

Bottom Line: Nesser is a smart writer and this book is very solid and satisfying. The mystery is smart and keeps you interested. I am looking forward to experiencing the other books in the series. I'm saving them and I'm going to pace myself so as to not burn through them too quick.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Simon Vance

If Simon Vance was reading tax code laws I'd listen to the entire 4,593 pages.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just okay

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This story held my interest, but the characters weren't really well developed. Too much happens at the end without sufficient story and character development to support it.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting aspect is finding out what happened during the suspected murderer's blackout. Least interesting is the character development of the victim and the murderer.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

As usual, Simon Vance's performance was outstanding. He can modify his voice to suit a multitude of characters without sounding strange. He is just very easy to listen to -- one of the best readers I've heard.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark but good

A very dark kind of mystery, writing reminiscent of The Stranger by Camus, but very good. I did figure out the killer before the author disclosed it but that may have been somewhat intentional.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good start to the series

This was one of those audio books I couldn't put down. Listened to it in just two sittings. I enjoyed the story, but wish the setting had come a bit more into play in this book.

The main character, Inspector Von Veeteren, is a bit of a curmudgeon, but being a huge Morse fan, I can't complain about that. I wonder what his toothpick budget is on top of the cigarettes.

Anyway, the story is what sells this book and the characters of the victims and the suspects more than the police. The plot is definitely different to most standard mystery novels. Complex, but not overly complicated. I can't wait to listen to another book by this author.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Had issues with the main character

Scandinavian thrillers have a strong dependency on the main character. There's Carl Morck, Lisbeth Salander, and Erlandur who are my favorites. The main detective in mind's eye just wasn't interesting or believable. At one point he makes a bet that he'll solve the case or quit and go on vacation and I just didn't care. Perhaps the books get better as you progress...

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark & Engaging

Nesser's work is dark, engaging, well-paced, eloquent, with a bit of wit and introspection to spice it up. This is a psychological thriller, a procedural. The wit is more reserved than that of Adler-Olson. I'm anxious to listen to the next book in the series. The narration is perfect.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My introduction to Van Veeteren

If you could sum up Mind's Eye in three words, what would they be?

Twists and turns

Who was your favorite character and why?

The suspect ;)

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

His measured reading and distinctive voice

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was surprised!

Any additional comments?

This was a pleasant introduction to Van Veeterem, even though there is little of his character revealed in this first novel.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Swedish psychological police procedural

On a quest to find and enjoy yet another Scandinavian mystery author, I'm thankful to a reading friend who introduced me to the first DI Van Veeteren mystery series. These are psychological police procedurals of the first order. They very much remind of the series by authors Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.

DI Van Veeteren chews on toothpicks while he thinks, and depends on his sense of intuition in discovering his suspects---solving 19 out of 20 cases with this assurance. In this first case a viciously murdered wife is found dead in the same apartment as her husband, who has lost his memory of that evening. He is promptly convicted and put in a mental institution, but something doesn't quit set with Van Veeteren. He's intuition is proved correct when the husband is murdered in the mental hospital.

The book continues with the process of finding the real murderer. This 'process' definitely 'makes' this DI a winning character, and I can see why this author is so popular in his home country. The translation is very good, and adds to the story. Looking forward to reading lots more in this series from Sweden!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

tedious. characterization poorly developed

difficult to keep listening as characters poorly defined. plot starts and moves like molasses...found it difficult to enjoy

1 person found this helpful