Europa Blues

Europa Blues by Arne Dahl

Book: Europa Blues by Arne Dahl Read Free Book Online
Authors: Arne Dahl
God’s sake!’ Gunnar Nyberg exclaimed, charging back towards the tracks. Norlander and Andersson followed him.
    They jumped down onto the tracks. Nyberg tore the plastic sheet from the left arm.
    The mobile phone in the hand was ringing.
    Nyberg bent down and tried to loosen the fingers. They were gripping the phone like a vice. Eventually, he managed to prise it loose. He beckoned for Norlander and Andersson to come over. They leaned in, their heads grouped like a team ahead of a handball match.
    Nyberg pressed the green button. The three men were silent.
    From the phone, an incomprehensible tirade began. A woman, speaking a foreign language. There was a moment’s silence, then something which sounded like it was probably a profanity, then silence again.
    The three policemen exchanged a surprised look. Eventually, Nyberg piped up and said: ‘Remember what you just heard. We’ll try to write it down, each of us.’
    ‘Why?’ Andersson asked, confused.
    ‘Because that was a message to the murderer,’ Gunnar Nyberg said quietly.

    THEY SEEMED LIKE nothing more than arbitrary clusters of letters. Letters thrown together at random. And the three offerings he had weren’t especially alike.
    Epivu, Detective Superintendent Jan-Olov Hultin thought. Was that just another arbitrary cluster of letters?
    He was sitting in his plain, anonymous office as the rain lashed down outside, peering at three pieces of paper in the uninspiring, flickering glow of a dying strip lamp. It was half past seven, it was Friday evening, and as far as he could tell, he was all alone in the A-Unit’s corridor in the police station on Polhemsgatan.
    It had to be a Slavic language. Despite the differences between the three versions hastily scribbled down and despite the peculiar spelling, Hultin thought that the words looked Russian. Nyberg and Norlander had thought so too. Which other Slavic languages were there, other than Russian? Czech, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian. Was Serbo-Croatian still a language? Or was there Serbian and Croatian now? He wasn’t sure.
    They would have to call in a language expert. Present them with the unenviable task of working it out.
    Still, it had been unexpectedly quick thinking from Gunnar Nyberg. He had gone from strength to strength as a detective, ever since Hultin had first brought the A-Unit together to solve the case of the Power Killer God knows how many years ago. From sluggish grizzly bear on a manhunt in the underworld, to modern, clear-thinking, newly slender online policeman.
    Hultin picked up another piece of paper. Notes from the interview with Adib Tamir. He skim-read. Lone, good-looking woman of medium height; long black hair; red leather jacket; tight black trousers; black trainers. There had been a few other minor characters with them. Nameless wannabes. They had run off. First, she took down the knife-wielding Hamid with a kick. A kick to the face. Then she threw Adib, also armed with a knife, headfirst into a bench. He went out like a light and when he woke up, there were people screaming all around him. He saw Hamid’s legs and his guts spilling onto the platform a few metres away and passed out again. When he woke again, the platform had been empty, save for a group of pigs. That was all. He had no idea who the small fry were. Hangers-on. There were always some. Hamid and Adib were the pros. Sure, he could try to help out with a sketch, but he had hardly seen her. She’d had her back to him until she turned round and broke the unbreakable in just a few seconds.
    Closing words: ‘She must’ve been a secret agent or something.’
    Well, Adib, Hultin thought. Who knows? She
managed to grab an armed Hamid by the legs, push him like a wheelbarrow across the platform and hold half his body out over the tracks, just as the train was approaching. Then she had disappeared without a trace. Red leather jacket and all.
    Though her mobile phone had still been in Hamid’s hand. A real KGB agent

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