In Brussels, the self-proclaimed capital of Europe, rain is liquefied gloom, the streets are sepulchral and corruption is the norm.

Of course, Brussels prefers to see itself as the bastion of human rights, the beacon of democratic values and epitome of diversity. Mads Hansen, a former intelligence officer, believes in this fairy tale too - right until the dull afternoon when a high-ranking official jumps off the thirteenth floor of the European Commission’s headquarters. As an investigator with the Directorate of Security, Hansen has three days to look into the matter. The only issue is, the hierarchy preferred if he didn’t investigate at all. He too would gladly forget about all of it, but by then the prime suspect is too gorgeous to be innocent.

Looking for the truth on Brussel’s rain-soaked streets where a half-crazy prostitute has the clearest thoughts and a Lesbian detective the hardest fists, Hansen digs deeper until he hits rock bottom where only his skills as an interrogator can prevail over an untouchable cast of politicians and lobbyists.

***

I wanted to have a new take on noir detective novels by turning their clichés upside down and inside out. Help me keep it Scandinavian - simple, realistic and looking behind the shiny facades that hide the rot.

As a former anti-corruption investigator with six years of experience at the crime scene (yeah that would be Brussels as a whole) and a soft spot for the Reid interrogation method, I have tried to make this as realistic as possible without betraying the institutions that fed me and where there’s still a couple of decent people left, trying to do their duty whenever the system allows them. If you take the time to read this (for which you have my thanks) keep one thing in mind: in many novels, you read about whistle-blowers, insider information and memoirs written in the safety of retirement. Well, with all its flaws, this is a real one, even though I’m still far from retirement.