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A strange demigod


According to critic Petra Berkenbusch, Hakan Nesser’s “The Assassin” is a rather strange story. © Berkenbusch

time to read

“Half a murderer. A Chronicle of Adalbert Hanson, Present and Past, Written by Himself.” Hakan Neser’s novel, which was published in Sweden in 2019, not only has a heavy title, but it reads that way at first.

Adalbert Hanzon, the awkward captain, takes some getting used to, especially since he’s surrounded by several such oddballs. Currently, it’s really just her rather annoying and simple-minded cousin and annoying neighbor with whom she has a love-hate relationship, who likes to drink.

love story

Adalbert Hanzon’s frail, monotonous life is set in motion when he thinks he recognizes his former great love, Andrea Altman, during a visit to the pharmacy. The love of his life, who was sadly taken but still gave him his heart, but eventually disappeared without a trace, suddenly reappears on the scene after 43 years and a lengthy prison term.

Adalbert Hanzon can hardly believe his eyes and begins to investigate. Is it really him? The only woman he ever cared for.

guilt and shame

As his investigations shape the present, Adalbert looks back on a love story without a happy ending. What does such almost hopeless love do to a young man whose father explained to the child years ago: “Despite what you may believe, you don’t matter to this world.”

She misleads young Adalbert and brings him two tenants that have lived in his head ever since: guilt and shame.

Enjoy reading

His investigation of Andreas’s whereabouts and appearance clarifies much for the readers of the elder Mr. Adalbert and Nesser.

At first you don’t know what a “half-killer” might be, but by the end you have a pretty good idea of ​​what it is and you’ve read 285 pages of enjoyable reading.

a novel

Hakan Nesser. The Assassin, 288 p., btb, €22, ISBN 978-3-4427-5872-2.

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