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. In his memoirs, Borkmann went so far as to claim that it was precisely this ability, or the lack of it, which distinguishes a good detective from a bad one. A wealthy real-estate mogul is brutally murdered with an axe in the quiet coastal town of Kaalbringen, apparently the second victim of a serial killer. Chief Inspector van Veeteren, bored of his holiday nearby, is summoned to assist the local authorities. But as the investigation proceeds there seems to be nothing to link the mogul with the first victim, a seedy ex-con. Another body is discovered, again with no apparent connection to the others, 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".