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.
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.