On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by an unknown assassin. The press, anxious for an explanation for the seemingly random crime, quickly dubs the killer a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck of the Stockholm Homicide Squad suspects otherwise: this apparently motiveless killer has managed to target one of Beck's best detectives, young Ake Stenstrom. Reasoning that Stenstrom would not have been riding that lethal bus without a reason, Beck retraces his steps and chases year-old clues to a crime long thought unsolvable. With its wonderfully observed lawmen (including the inimitable Martin Beck), its brilliantly rendered felons and their murky Stockholm underworld, and its deftly engineered plot, this is another incredible installment in the acclaimed Martin Beck mystery series.