Detective Inspector Huss
"Add the voice of Helen Tursten to the list of mystery writers who know how to craft a truly satisfying police procedural."—Philadelphia Inquirer
"An absorbing, intelligent mystery that holds its own alongside the best feminine hardboiled novels currently being written by Englishwomen Val McDermid and Liza Cody, and our own Sara Paretsky."—Maureen Corrigan, NPR, "Fresh Air," Washington Post Book World
"The picture Tursten provides of Sweden’s growing anti-immigrant resentment—embodied in Huss’ skinhead daughter—imbues this novel with a cold chill of dread that can’t be attributed only to the subfreezing temperatures of Göteborg in winter."—Chicago Sun-Times
Inspector Irene Huss, stationed in Göteborg, is called through the rain-drenched wintry streets to the scene of an apparent suicide. The dead man landed on the sidewalk in front of his luxurious duplex apartment. He was a wealthy financier connected, through an old-boys’ network, with the first families of Sweden. But the "Society Suicide" turns out to have been a carefully plotted murder. As more murders ensue, she tangles with street gang members, skinheads, immigrants and neo-Nazis—a cross-section of Sweden’s disaffected—in order to catch the killer.
Helene Tursten has been compared to P.D. James in her native Sweden. Her three subsequent Irene Huss mysteries have been highly praised. She was born in Göteborg in 1954 where she now lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This intriguing police procedural from Swedish author Tursten, the first in a new series, augurs well for the future exploits of its heroine, a sympathetic 40-something detective attempting to juggle a demanding job and her family life. Irene Huss of the Violent Crimes Unit plunges into a complex and high-stakes investigation when Richard von Knecht, one of G teborg's leading citizens and a Trump-like tycoon, apparently takes a suicidal plunge off his apartment balcony, practically before the eyes of his wife and son. Evidence that von Knecht was murdered soon surfaces, and a sensitive inquiry into the life and background of the victim begins. After someone bombs Von Knecht's offices, claiming two lives, Huss and her colleagues find themselves delving into Sweden's seamy underworld of drug dealers and motorcycle gangs. Remarkably, there's little about the mystery, the characters' personalities and motivations or the police approach to solving the crimes that couldn't easily be transposed to a contemporary American setting. Huss herself is an entirely plausible creation smart, competent, but fallible and the exchanges between the various police officers with whom she works help define them as three-dimensional as well. Through solid, patient police work, the good guys catch the murderer, whose identity, while not a total surprise, provides a nice narrative twist.