The first in a series, this is a well written, complex Scandinavian police procedural. With complex characters, intriguing setting, I thought that the book was just a little too long. It did not detract from my enjoyment though, and I look forward to reading her latest book with anticipation.
Detective Inspector Irene Huss is am investigator assigned to the Ex-Library ----- Violent Crimes Unit in Gotheborg, Sweden. She is a wife and mother - her husband is a chef and she has twin daughters.
On a raindrenched November night, she is called to the scene of the apparent suicide of a wealthy financeer and on.
Turstan is one of Sweden's brilliant writers. Her story combined with the social setup in Sweden makes for gripping reading.
A riveting and well-written Swedish police procedural. I rarely give a book five stars, but this novel earned it for a completely believable, engrossing story; a multi-layered, well-paced plot; and intriguing settings. But most of all it is the characterizations that raise this book out of the ordinary. It is populated by people from the cream of Swedish society to the dregs. These days so many authors of detective fiction stint on descriptions of the characters. I don't know whether writers are lazy, see some virtue in leaving it to our imaginations, or expect film producers to cast their stories for them after the fact. But I often feel as if characters in this genre are stock and weakly described telling you what kind of car a person drives and where he buys his clothes substitutes for character development. Not so here. The officers, victims, suspects, the most minor witness, DI Huss' family, and even her dog come to bright life on the page. In spite of my unfamiliarity with Swedish names and places, I was never confused by the large cast and varied settings. I suspect that translator Steven T. Murray is owed praise, in addition to author Helene Tursten, for making this book unfold as briskly as a classic episode of Law & Order, while employing rich, evocative language to create interesting observations about contemporary life in general, especially how it is lived in urban Europe.
Detective Inspector Huss start off at the beginning with lots of things happening. It kept building up with more murders to be solved. It was hard to even guess who was behind all the crimes.Huss got involved with all things with the crimes and with things happening at home. Didn't want to put the book down.
One thing that I didn't like was all the Swedish & Finnish names of people and towns. When I came to one, it seemed like my brain stopped to figure out how to pronouce the word.