The Wolf and the Watchman

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

An excellent read! Thoroughly absorbing narrative and characters that drew me in and kept me turning those pages.
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This book is probably the best historical thriller I have EVER read.  The characters forced to either love them or hate them.  And I loved them all.  
This story follows two men, a semi-retired investigator and a watchman, as they try to solve a grisly murder.  Each man has their own story and the supporting characters are just as richly written.
The story is one that you will remember for a long time after reading.  I can't wait to read more by the author.
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An amazing debut novel that mixes Scandinavian crime fiction with the historical novel to craft a story of greed, passion, power, and friendship that grips the reader from the first page. Dag's prose captures the nasty and brutish side of life in the 18th century wiping away the glossy and romantic view of the era.
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Five reasons to read: 

1.	Interesting writing style
2.	Very graphic, so make sure you're ready! 
3.	Interesting concept- I found myself enthralled in the storyline. 
4.	Interesting learning about Swedish history
5.	Character and plot twists were unexpected and also kept the pace quick
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In 'The Wolf and the Watchman', an uneven translation and a balky start quickly turn into an oddly compelling read. Niklas Natt och Dag has strayed a bit - all the way into the 18th century - from the usual path of Scandinavian gory crime literature. 

Set in Stockholm of the 1790s, a city awash in filth, corruption, depravity, a city 'watchman' discovers a mutilated corpse in one of the city's many backwash-filled waterways. Enter a consumptive brilliant private detective, a tolerably incorruptible chief of police, and a thoroughly decadent monied class and we have a compelling, brutal, grotesque and oddly readable murder mystery. 

Natt och Dag is fond of the info-dump in some severely overwritten expository dialogue, and he telegraphs a predictable ending, which is nonetheless much welcome after so much grime.  All in all, a good summer read - if a bit long. Or a good read for a stormy night or three.
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I would like to thank the publisher for giving me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this!
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The setting is absolutely fascinating and gives the book a very atmospheric feeling. However, the setting is also a bit of a drawback as the dialogue is so realistic to the time that it feels a bit stodgy and difficult to navigate for a modern reader. Very glad I read it, and I did enjoy it, but it was a bit more "work" than other books of its type.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.
A brutal and sickening thriller that compelled me to keep reading even though there were times I really wanted to put it aside. A Swedish historical thriller that contains torture and brutality That said, the books is very readable and the characters well developed. Not a read for the faint of heart.
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This is a brutal but compelling thriller that transports you to 18th Century Sweden.with such an atmospheric setting. It is a gruesome story but well-written page-turning. I love Swedish books, some of my favorite authors have been from there and here is another to keep track of for future work. 

#TheWolfAndTheWatchman #NetGalley
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A sick and suspenseful murder mystery, where the actual murder isn’t the most disturbing part in the least. As clues are uncovered and psychological madness revealed, the depths of the victim’s depravity continues to sink.
This is not for the faint of heart. It may even take a little courage to continue reading, but Niklas’ richly portrayed characters and plot will keep you thinking and will tap you awake at night, cowering at the crimes committed.
Wolves as monsters wear many faces, and as motives are revealed, so too is the heart of these characters.
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The Wolf And The Watchman takes place in the late 1700’s in and around Stockholm, Sweden. The tale begins with Mickel Cardell, a washed up watchman, who spends the majority of his spare time drinking or being drunk. He is awakened from a drunk stupor by some neighborhood children who start telling him about a body floating in the water. Thinking that the children have confused a large livestock animal for a human corpse, he is not prepared to find a mutilated corpse in the water. When the body is pulled from the river, the head of the police, puts Cecil Winge in charge of the investigation. Cecil is a determined investigator with a knack for finding the truth. Cecil has been struggling with Consumption for sometime, and is greatly weakened physically. He enlists the help of Mickel Cardell in seeking the identity of the victim and the identity of the person who put him there. They are working on borrowed time as Cecil’s health deteriorates and a bitter political feud within the corrupted police department threatens to end their investigation at any moment. The story is told in chapters the highlight the role of the investigators, the perpetrators, and an innocent girl named Anna Stina. The story unfolds to reveal the role each plays in the tale. The story is ripe with detail, and written in an authentic Middle Ages style. The story flows easily and is easy to read and understand. Novel should appeal to fans of the Alienist. A recommended read.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and write an honest review.

This is a historical novel of murder from the late 1700s in Stockholm.
Cecil Winge, the lawyer investigating, teams up with Mickel Cardell, the watchman that dragged the mutilated body from the polluted lake.
They attempt to solve the murder. Early in the book they learn how the body came to be in the lake. The information they pursue is the name of the victim and the reason for his mutilation. This takes them to some undesirable sites within the city. They meet some seedy characters both rich and poverty stricken. The middle section of the book relates the story of a woman that actually has very little to do with the rest of the book and its characters.
However, it adds more detail to the picture of what Europe must have been like at that time, filled with pollution, disease, poverty.

The author’s writing style is very readable. The characters are interesting and the author approaches the murder investigation from a new angle.
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I was thoroughly absorbed in this grisly and cringe worthy historical mystery set in Stockholm in 1793. When a mutilated body washes ashore Mickell Cardell a former night watchman and Cecil Winge a lawyer are set on a path to try and find out the identity of the body and who killed him. This was a remarkable story and well thought out with a satisfying conclusion. Parts of the book are graphic and depraved but it is well worth reading and I enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommend!!!!!
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This was a real dazzler of a read, at least for me. Eighteenth century Sweden is a fascinating place as described by the author. I love reading about this era! The author also uses great skill in creating an amazing cast of characters. Each is interesting and drew me into the book. This being a mystery, there is also an intriguing and multilayered plot that kept me focused and guessing. Each revealing fact was lain out just so and spectacular in detail and imagination. My only criticism is the vast number of characters that occasionally had me reviewing pages already read to remember them. There are some crude moments, and I would warn the squeamish reader to be prepared. Such was life in the 1700’s!
This one comes highly recommended for fans of Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It has a spellbinding plot and wonderful prose.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review this title.
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I heard such great things about this novel, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me. I had a hard time connecting with the writing style and I wasn't crazy about the characters. I had to give up after about 200 pages. Thank you Atria and Netgalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow! The Wolf and the Watchman is the most engrossing novel I’ve read in a while. I want to tell you that you should read it and you should, but only if you like historical mysteries and don’t mind some gruesomeness and brutality. It is not for everyone; it’s dark and disturbing and if it was a movie I would have had to cover my eyes. It’s also brilliant and I loved it.

Stockholm in 1793 seems a terrible place to live unless you’re rich. Crime, sickness, poverty, filth, corruption, rape, and death. Against this backdrop, two men with little to lose are on the hunt for a killer. Mikel Cardell, a former soldier with no family, no friends, one arm, and little money, pulls the mutilated body of a young dead man out of the lake. Cecil Winge, dying of consumption, takes the case in his position as consulting detective for the Stockholm police. Winge and Cardell are both interesting in their own rights. Both have tragic backstories, but the sense of duty to the dead man binds them together. As a team, they work well together, Winge is clearly the brains and Cardell the brawn, but each has his moment(s) to take on the other’s role.

In other parts of the city, Kristofer Blix wants to train as a surgeon but needs to make money in the meantime, and Anna-Stina has been confined to a workhouse run by a sadistic man, falsely accused of being a prostitute. The lives of these two will intersect with Winge and Cardell’s in surprising ways. The characters are gritty and believable, even if some, not the main four but others, are just terrible people. I found myself cringing several times, in fear for the people I liked, in disgust at what people can do to each other.

The plot twists and turns, and then it all pulls together in the end and every little thing along the has mattered. The author does an amazing job of pulling you in. It’s vivid and ugly and beautiful and fabulous.
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This book was a great historical fiction read. I read a lot of thrillers and sometimes I need a break. This book transported me to a different era, while keeping the thriller feel close in tow. I would highly recommend this book.
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Following a night of heavy drinking, one-armed night watchman Mikel Cardell is rousted to fish a limb-less body from a putrid Stockholm lake. Set in 1793, The Wolf and the Watchman pairs Cardell with incorruptible investigator Cecil Winge, who is on the verge of death from consumption.

The investigation quickly leads through the dangerous underworld of Stockholm to the possibly more treacherous secret world of the ruling noble families. But Winge is not swayed by intimidation, due to his pending death, and refuses to back down from either ruffians or the wealthy.

The Wolf and the Watchman (digital galley, Simon and Schuster) is an engrossing detective story that brings to life a faraway time and place. The historical setting and the story’s many memorable characters add a rich depth to Niklas Natt och Dag’s first novel.
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To say I liked or enjoyed this seems wrong. It is graphic and brutal in its depravity. It is also well-written and compelling. Many, many times I wanted to bail because of the explicit violence, but I needed to know what happened. This is an impressive debut, but I don’t think I could stomach another book by this author.
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DEEP and DARK -  In 18th century Stockholm. 

First up we have Jean Michael Cardell, a disabled veteran with a passion for strong drink and bar brawls....a former night watchman with haunted memories of war.

Then Cecil Winge enters the picture, lawyer turned consulting detective for Stockholm police, a notably skilled young man living on borrowed time.....and together these two troubled men search the DARK and dangerous city streets for a ruthless monster who tortures and maims before he kills. 

Kristofer Blix also plays a significant roll in the storyline as a young & bright, but struggling and tormented soul who gets a rude awakening of how he must pay the piper for past mistakes.....and sohopes to atone for his sins.

And then there's the falsely accused Anna Stina who takes us to the tortuous workhouses of the time where monstrous types brutalize the innocent. 

This is just a sampling of what is to come in THE WOLF AND THE WATCHMAN....only some of the characters....many of whom are greedy, sadistic and just plain evil.  The story is complex, at times bloody gruesome and unsettling, but a mystery that is both cleverly plotted and assures the reader they would NOT want to live during his post war torn time in history.   

Many pieces to this intricate puzzle, and very DARK, but oh what a debut!

***Arc provided by Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
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