"There is no such thing as a Swedish way of writing a crime story," says best-selling Swedish writer Håkan Nesser.
The following 35-minute interview with Nesser from the inaugural Hindustan Times Crime Writers Festival took place last January in the sunny outdoors, against the noisy background of chirping birds.
Nesser and the Mumbai-based author and journalist Jerry Pinto discuss the writing process and crime ("It is easier to kill someone in your family than to write a crime story"), translation, and Nesser's two recurring main characters.
Van Veeteren is an eccentric, mysterious, retired detective with a unique ability to draw lines between dots that are far apart and nearly invisible.
In the first half of the series he is still a Chief Inspector; in the second half he is retired, and owns an antiquarian books shop in Maardam (a fictitious city in an unspecified European country). The G File (2014) is the tenth and final book in the series.
A private eye is hired by a woman to follow her shady husband (the "G" in the title). A few days later, his client is found dead at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. Chief Inspector Van Veeteren investigates but cannot convict G. Fifteen years later, the "G File" remains the one case the former policeman has never been able to solve. Then the private detective goes missing.With Human Without Dog (2006) Nesser introduces the more upbeat Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti, a Swedish policeman of Italian descent who is divorced, a single father with a teenage daughter in the house.The series is based in the fictitious town of Kymlinge in Sweden.