The Wolf and the Watchman

A Novel

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About The Book

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, #1 bestselling author of A Man Called Ove

Chilling and thought-provoking. Relentless, well-written, and nearly impossible to put down.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Named Best Debut Novel of 2017 by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers

One morning in the autumn of 1793, watchman Mikel Cardell is awakened from his drunken slumber with reports of a body seen floating in the Larder, once a pristine lake on Stockholm’s Southern Isle, now a rancid bog. Efforts to identify the bizarrely mutilated corpse are entrusted to incorruptible lawyer Cecil Winge, who enlists Cardell’s help to solve the case. But time is short: Winge’s health is failing, the monarchy is in shambles, and whispered conspiracies and paranoia abound.

Winge and Cardell become immersed in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams. From a farmer’s son who is lead down a treacherous path when he seeks his fortune in the capital to an orphan girl consigned to the workhouse by a pitiless parish priest, their gruesome investigation peels back layer upon layer of the city’s labyrinthine society. The rich and the poor, the pious and the fallen, the living and the dead—all collide and interconnect with the body pulled from the lake.

Breathtakingly bold and intricately constructed, The Wolf and the Watchman brings to life the crowded streets, gilded palaces, and dark corners of late-eighteenth-century Stockholm, offering a startling vision of the crimes we commit in the name of justice, and the sacrifices we make in order to survive.

About The Author

Gabriel Liljevall

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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 2019)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501196775

Raves and Reviews

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

“[A] masterly first novel...The book’s structure, which includes flashbacks and multiple perspectives, will remind many of Iain Pear’s An Instance of the Fingerpost, and Natt och Dag uses this structure to heighten suspense and deepen characterization. The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers named this the bets debut novel of 2017, and U.S. readers will be likewise impressed.”

– Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“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)

“Stylistically astonishing.”  

– 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.” 

– TROUW (Netherlands)

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