Borkmann's rule was hardly a rule; in fact, it was more of a comment, a landmark for tricky cases ...In every investigation, he maintained, there comes a point beyond which we don't really need any more information. When we reach that point, we already know enough to solve the case by means of nothing more than some decent thinking. A seedy ex-con and a wealthy real-estate mogul are brutally murdered with an axe in the quiet coastal town of Kaalbringen. Chief Inspector van Veeteren, bored of his holiday nearby, is summoned to assist the local authorities. But there seems to be nothing to link the victims. Another body is discovered, again with no obvious connection, and the pressure mounts. The local police chief, just days away from retirement, is determined to wrap things up before he goes. Then there's a fourth murder, and a brilliant young female detective goes missing - perhaps she has reached Borkmann's Point before anyone else ...This riveting novel, full of fascinating, quirky characters and vivid settings, introduces the chess-playing Inspector van Veeteren - a detective already beloved by his European readership - and marks the UK debut of Hakan Nesser, a chilling new voice in crime fiction. "On this showing, Inspector Van Veeteren seems destined for a place amongst the great European detectives" - Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse.