Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins hes been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norways dark pastwhen members of the nations government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. More than sixty years later, this black mark wont wash away, and disgraced old soldiers who once survived a brutal Russian winter are being murdered, one by one. Now, with only a stained and guilty conscience to guide him, an angry, alcoholic, error-prone policeman must make his way safely past the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. For a hideous conspiracy is rapidly taking shape around Holeand Norways darkest hour may still be to come.