Ulf Varg is a detective. Smart, revered by his peers, and owner of a lip reading dog and a light grey Saab.
In the Department of Sensitive Crimes, McCall Smith, considers, through Ulf, the idea of bringing ‘…to the surface the things that are below the surface’.
For those unfamiliar with Scandinavian literature, and culture, McCall Smith paints a picture of a way of life that, while existing within the same system about which we whinge, is characterised by values of equality, horizontal social fabrics, and community. Its a place that seems like that of a by-gone era. Against this backdrop, and many philosophical musings, Ulf finds simple pleasures to content him in his post-divorce life. He listens carefully. He respects the values and concerns of others, even when it pains him. And finally, he carefully dissects the uncertainties and perplexities of the world around him, one sensitive crime at a time.