The fourth investigation in the nationally bestselling Swedish detective series
When one of his teachers fails to show up for work, a high school principal calls his friend on the Göteborg police force. To Detective Inspector Irene Huss’s surprise, her boss takes the
complaint seriously, even bringing her with him to a remote cottage in southern Sweden to investigate. There they discover the body of the teacher in question, victim of a rifle shot to the head. When they visit his parents to break the news, they find the couple dead in their bed, each shot between the eyes. The family’s sole surviving member, their daughter in London, is too grief-stricken for questioning. A swath of suspects arises as Irene investigates, but she has a hunch the answers to this case lie in England.
Swedish author Tursten's taut third contemporary police procedural (after 2006's The Torso) opens with a compelling setup: after Det. Insp. Irene Huss and her team find Jacob Schyttelius, a divorced teacher, shot to death in his isolated cottage, his computer monitor marked with a bloody Satanic symbol, they visit his parents, Sten and Elsa, only to find them dead as well and with the same markings on their computer. The data on both machines was erased professionally, and the only viable lead, Jacob's London-based sister, Rebecka, is too devastated by the dual tragedy to offer much assistance. Huss focuses her inquiry on Sten, a minister who had been investigating a local Satanist movement, in the belief that he may have been killed in revenge. The solution is both logical and depressing. Tursten does her usual solid job of populating the novel with credible, flawed characters and bringing to life modern Swedish society.