"Having come thus far in his deliberations, Van Veeteren gave in to temptation and lit a cigarette. It was time to address the big question, and that would no doubt need a bit of extra effort. Why? Why in hell's name should anybody march up to somebody's door, ring the bell and shoot whoever opened it?"
A young woman shivers in the December cold as her mother's body is laid to rest in a cemetery. The only thing that warms her is the thought of the revenge she will soon take...
Then a middle-aged man is killed at his home, shot twice in the chest and twice below the belt. He had recently received a series of bizarre phone calls where an old song is played down the line – evoking an eerie sense of both familiarity and unease. Before the police can find the culprit, a second man is killed in the same way.
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren and his team must dig far back into each man's past – but with few clues at each crime scene, can they find the killer before anyone else dies?