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  • Buy The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg novel Book Book IBD 9780349143330
  • Buy The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg novel Book Book IBD 9780349143330
  • Buy The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg novel Book Book IBD 9780349143330
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    The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg novel

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    The Department of Sensitive Crimes is Scandinavian Blanc, vastly different from Scandinavian Noir. There is nothing noir about the world of Ulf Varg, Detective Inspector in the Sensitive Crimes Department of the Criminal Investigation Authority for the city of Malmö, Sweden. Ulf is concerned with odd, but not too threatening crimes, such as a stab wound to the back of the knee caused by an unknown hand, young women who allow their desperation for a boyfriend to get the better of them, and peculiar goings-on in a spa on Sweden's south coast.

    Of course, Ulf is a Swedish detective, and Swedish detectives, by convention, lead lives beset with problems of one sort or another. For a start, there is his name: Ulf means “wolf” in modern Swedish, and Varg derives from the Old Norse word for “wolf”. But his character is far from vulpine: Ulf is a sympathetic, well-educated, and likeable man, with a knowledge of and interest in Scandinavian- and modern art. He has a dog named Marten, the only dog in Sweden capable of lip-reading (but only in Swedish). Martin becomes depressed and needs treatment. Dogs in Sweden are apparently particularly prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But this is summer—so there must be something else going on.

    Ulf has a number of colleagues into whose lives we gain insight. There is Anna, married to an anaesthetist, but very fond of Ulf; Erik, whose sole interest is fishing; Carl, whose father is a famous Lutheran theologian who has written a book on Danish philosopher Kierkegaard; then there is Blomquist from the uniformed branch, who goes on and on about his health problems but seems to have extraordinary luck in investigations. There is also Ulf's psychotherapist, Dr. Svensson, whose observations on Ulf's life—and many other topics—enlightens...or possibly confuses.

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes is the first full-length novel in the Detective Varg series.