The brevity and the wit work together. Many a fictional veteran officer has rolled his eyes at the antics of a too-eager, too-punctilious young colleague. Naser lets an impersonal narrator speak: "It is true that Kropke had not had time to prepare any overhead projector transparencies before he addressed his colleagues in the conference room that evening, but everything was neatly set out in his notebook with detachable pages and dark-blue leather covers."
Concision is a watchword. Nesser shifts point of view frequently, telling just enough about a character to add flavor, breaking off before veering into mawkishness and excessive psychologizing.
And he has fun with the setting. The names are close to Dutch, but spelled not quite the Dutch way. The setting is coastal, though perhaps a coast more varied than that of the Netherlands. Readers familiar with Denmark or Sweden are free to weigh in on this matter.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007