Retired Chief of the National Crime Police and Swedish Security Service Lars Martin Johansson has just suffered a stroke.
He is paying the price for a life of excess - stress, good food and fine wine.
With his dangerously high blood pressure, his heart could fail at the slightest excitement.
In the hospital, a chance encounter with a neurologist provides an important piece of information about a 25-year-old murder investigation and alerts Lars Martin Johansson's irrepressible police instincts.
The period for prosecution expired just weeks earlier and that isn't the only limitation.
Lars Martin Johansson is determined to solve the atrocious crime - from his deathbed. The inimitable style, distinct voice and dark humour of Leif GW Persson, along with the fascinating exploration of a long-cold murder case, serves to make The Dying Detective a true masterpiece of the genre.