“The Alienist set in eighteenth-century Stockholm: Brawny, bloody, intricate, enthralling—and the best historical thriller I’ve read in twenty years.” —A.J. Finn, #1 bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“Thrilling, unnerving, clever, and beautiful.” —Fredrik Backman, international bestselling author
Named Best Debut Novel of 2017 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers
It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.
When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity, encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite.
Meanwhile, Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.
In another corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim.
Over the course of the novel, these extraordinary characters cross paths and collide in shocking and unforgettable ways. Niklas Natt och Dag paints a deliciously dark portrait of late 18th century Stockholm, and the frightful yet fascinating reality lurking behind the powdered and painted veneer of the era.
Niklas Natt och Dag (“Night and Day”) is a member of the oldest surviving noble family in Sweden. He enjoys playing the guitar, mandolin, violin, and the Japanese bamboo flute. The Wolf and the Watchman, his first novel, was named the Best Debut of 2017 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers and is being published in thirty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and their two sons.
“The Alienist set in eighteenth-century Stockholm: Brawny, bloody, intricate, enthralling—and the best historical thriller I’ve read in twenty years.”
– A.J. Finn, #1 bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“In his debut novel, Natt och Dag examines the effects of a brutal murder on those who investigate it—and explores the psychological causes for the crime...Chilling and thought-provoking. Relentless, well-written, and nearly impossible to put down.”
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Thrilling, unnerving, clever, and beautiful.”
– Fredrik Backman, international bestselling author
“An unexpected masterpiece, a wild and unusual mix of genres that in one fell swoop succeeds in renewing the entire crime fiction genre.”
– Arne Dahl, prize-winning and Swedish #1 bestselling author of the Sam Berger series
"An excellent story with corkscrew twists and a wonderfully clever ending, completely worthy of Cecil Winge’s splendid mind. Winge and Cardell are thoroughly engaging characters, and they give the whole book a powerful heart"
– Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
"Complex and richly realized... Besides the rich and fascinating characters, Natt Och Dag’s greatest strength may be selecting details to convey a city of two centuries past.... This is Natt och Dag’s first published novel, but it seems too skillful and too assured to be his first writing... [He] surely has more fine work ahead of him."
– New York Journal of Books
“A literary tour de force…a smart and suspenseful story that you’ll remember for a long time to come.”
– Verdens Gang (Norway)
“Magnificent ”Stockholm Noir” and an excellent debut…A bullseye of a historical novel…[Niklas Natt och Dag] writes glisteningly and organically."
– Aftenposten (Norway)
– Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
“Wonderfully written…[Niklas Natt och Dag’s] detailed descriptions of locations and characters and his well-crafted story ensure that The Wolf and the Watchman takes the reader along on a journey that does not end till after the final scene has been read.”
– De Standaard (Belgium)
“A vivacious book. The Wolf and the Watchman is a virtuously written, pitch-black thriller.”