The crime is simple--the motive is anything but.
Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in Oslo, leaving one of the singers dead in the street. The trail will lead Harry Hole, Oslo's best investigator and worst civil servant, deep into the darkest corners of the city and, eventually, to Croatia.
An assassin forged in the war-torn region has been brought to Oslo to settle an old debt. As the police circle in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate and the danger mounts for Harry and his colleagues.