Character name: Hasse Almquist, age 67
Books: Fear Of Broken Glass
Occupation: Detective, Örrebro district, Sweden
Hasse Almquist is the aging Swedish detective with a tarnished reputation, haunted by the past and a string of unresolved murders from the 1970’s to the early 80’s. Each of the murders – known locally as the ‘draugr killings’ – display common characteristics: Nails through the feet, eyes removed in an act of neo-pagan ritual.
Almquist’s fate becomes intertwined with the suspects he has been sent in to investigate, isolating them from the outside world as he struggles to make sense of a bizarre sequence of events stemming from the deeds of a Swedish archaeologist with a secret some people will stop at nothing to prevent from seeing the light of day.
Prior to events in Fear Of Broken Glass Almquist had been conducting his own investigation: Police reports provided a link to the disappearance of a Stockholm-based reporter in 1982 who had visited the area. This was the only other probable murder committed other than the draugr killings. Sweden was generally a peaceful country, arousing his suspicion. Inquiries immediately prior to the arrival of the group from Copenhagen reveal the disappearance of a reporter who vanished after the date of the murder of Karl Oskar Eklund in Copenhagen in 1982.
In the course of his investigation into the death of Danish Thomas Denisen in 1987 – Almquist discovers Eklund was a childhood friend of Joachim Agard, the painter of the mysterious painting known only as ‘the Hangman of the Gallows’. Both of them were archaeologists, both of them came from the region in Sweden, and both of them had travelled widely in the Middle East in the past. The lead, despite providing an ominous link between the group’s activities in Tived, Sweden, and events in Copenhagen in 1982, also provides the means of redemption. Almquist, caught in a web of deception, finally starts to solve the puzzle no one else has done – because of the new leads arising from the latest investigation. With the help of his assistant Elin Vikland he is able to plot a course of events reaching back in time linking the affairs of the region with more recent events in Copenhagen, enough to see the scale of events-in-motion are more than regional.
Can he continue to resolve the threads and solve who the murderer of Thomas Denisen is? And can he solve the latest in a series of murders exhibiting the hallmarks of pagan practice to save his reputation?