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Publisher's Summary

After hearing her mother’s deathbed confession and following the dreary funeral, Maria Adler realizes she has no other option but to seize upon her mother’s imperative to do something. Dissolving the life she loathes, Maria changes her appearance and disappears. When she emerges, revenge is her sole occupation.

Inspector Van Veeteren and his associates are left bewildered by the curious murder of a man shot twice in the heart and twice below the belt. He was a quiet, utterly dull man, and the only suspicious activity his surviving wife can recall is a series of peculiar phone calls. Repeatedly the telephone would ring, offering nothing but the words of an obscure pop song from the 1960s. This siren song is linked to an identical murder, but the true link between these heinous crimes remains unknown, while a daughter’s pride grows with the satisfaction of vengeance and another detective’s lover offers telling insights that only an outsider could deduce.

With the critical eye and cool observation necessary for a successful chess match, Van Veeteren pursues his subject across the country, wading through outrageous leads and fruitless tips to a chilling conclusion.

©1996 Original material © 1996 Håkan Nesser. Originally published in Sweden as Kvinna med födelsemärke by Albert Bonniers Förlag AB, Stockholm. Translation © 2009 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

“Chief Insp. Van Veeteren heads a sterling ensemble cast in Nesser’s fine police procedural. . . . Nesser keeps readers guessing whether the killer will complete her gruesome task before the police can uncover the fatal link that binds killer and victims.” ( Publishing Weekly)
“The taut, fast-paced, and enthralling story intersperses scenes of the killer with scenes of the investigation, a technique that serves to ratchet suspense ever tighter. Fans of Karin Fossum will enjoy the peek into the mind of the murderer, and devotees of Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell will agree that Nesser belongs in that select circle of A-list Scandinavian crime novelists." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great story, beautifully told...

...wonderfully translated, and, of course, brilliantly brought to life by Simon Vance. The whole series is terrific.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelin
  • Asheville, NC, United States
  • 11-22-11

one of his best

I usually like this author and thought this was one of the best. The story has a lot of depth and is well crafted. The reader was excellent as well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Fun Mystery

Narration takes your mind away, and inside this book. It's worth a listen in my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

My First Book by Nesser, but Not the Last

I am a big fan of Nordic Noir, and this did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to listening to the other books in this series. Excellent narrator as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • WP
  • 08-16-12

So predictable

What was most disappointing about Håkan Nesser’s story?

Talk about predictable!! If you've ever read a mystery novel you can guess exactly why the killer is seeking out revenge.

Snooze fest.

Did Woman with Birthmark inspire you to do anything?

The book inspired me to stop listening. Lame City!

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time, money, or credits!!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful