Ülemkomissar ( = chief inspector) Jüri Hallmets is the central character in a series of crime thrillers set in 1930s Estonia.
He was originally a schoolteacher, but fought with distinction in the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), which secured the country’s independence from Russia. He lost two fingers to a sabre cut and was awarded a Latvian medal for his part in the Battle of Võnnu which secured both Latvia’s and Estonia’s independence. He was asked to stay on in the army but opted to join the new Police Force. He was sent to Scotland for training and here he met his wife Kirsty.
At the beginning of the first book in the series, Death in Tallinn, Hallmets is a chief inspector in the Kriminaalpolitsei (i.e. CID), based in Estonia’s second city, Tartu. Kirsty (her name Estonianised to Kirsti) works in the University Library, whilst their daughter is a student and their son has almost finished his secondary education.
He receives a phone call from Colonel Reinart at the Ministry of the INterior, summoning him to the capital, Tallinn, to investigate the death of a senior policeman, Ülemkomissar Vaher, who has fallen from a viewpoint, to be impaled on a kiosk below.