A mother's dying wish sealed with a deadly promise. Four men with a secret they thought they'd buried decades earlier. A detective in love. A man desperate to live despite the shadow of his guilty past.
After hearing her mother's deathbed confession and following her mother's dreary funeral, Maria Adler realizes she has no other option but to seize upon her mother's imperative to do something. Dissolving the life she loathes, Maria changes her appearance and disappears. When she emerges, revenge is her sole occupation.
Van Veeteren and his associates are left bewildered by the curious murder of a man shot twice in the heart and twice below the belt. A quiet, utterly dull man, the only suspicious activity his surviving wife can recall is a series of peculiar phone calls. Repeatedly the telephone would ring, offering no answer aside from an obscure pop song from the 1960s. This siren song is linked to an identical murder, but the true link between these heinous crimes remains unknown while a daughter's pride grows with the satisfaction of vengeance and another detective's lover offers telling insights that only an outsider could deduce.
With the critical eye and cool observation necessary for a successful chess match, Van Veeteren pursues his subject across the country. Wading through the outrageous leads and fruitless tips, he chases his mark. A breathless thriller full of deception, blackmail, and cold murder, Woman with Birthmark is a chilling read.