Larsen's 1994 novel, a bestseller in its native Denmark, is a deconstructionist detective story in which every scrap of evidence leads further away from the truth.
Despite the fortuitous testimony of an alibi witness, the Copenhagen police still think celebrity-hunting newspaperman Martin Molberg killed his live-in fiancée Monique Milazar, an SAS flight attendant, two months ago. But Molberg knows better, or at least he thinks he does. He's followed a clue the cops ignoreda scrap of paper in Monique's apartment reading "Jack Roth Pascal, Hotel Four Seasons, Room 505"to Los Angeles, where he's trying to track down the elusive Pascal, whose name doesn't appear on any database his contacts can access. Through his buddy Lindvig, a video freak, Molberg gets experts to scrutinize a photo of Monique in flagrante with a strange man (Pascal?) till he's seen a lot more in that picture than he'd like. Suddenly remembering a CD he was asked to smuggle through customs by Natasha Noiretthe flight attendant who's taken Monique's place in his bed, and begun to take it in his dreamshe concocts a theory linking it to a sinister international conspiracy that dropped two million crowns into his joint account before leaving Monique dead. Pursuing the truth through a haze of Dexedrine, Thorazine, Prozac, Sulpril, and Unisom, Molberg finds himself less and less sure that he knows what he's talking about. "Everything has a beginning, middle, and end," Molberg tells himself as he races down the last mile. "This has to have an ending." Despite the whodunit trajectory of the story, the echoes of Robbe-Grillet, John Hawkes, William Gibson, and J.P. Smith warn you not to count on it.
A fast-moving thriller that's also a modish, moody catalogue of the number of toolspills, liquor, psychotherapy, computers, the mediaup-to-the-minute moderns have developed to distance themselves from themselves.