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on February 10, 2013
This is the first book that I have read by Helene Tursten. I've been interested in reading more books that are considered Scandinavian and Nordic crime fiction.
This is a police procedural book with Irene Huss taking the lead in solving the murders of three men that were shot in their homes in the back of their heads. Much of the plot was digging into their background and questioning someone that seemed to be connected to the three of them, Sanna Kaegler-Ceder.
Much of the investigation lead into a big financial scandal with Sanna's company as well as a Ponzi scheme. The suspence moved further in the book for me when Irene and one of her colleagues went to France to investigate the home of two of the murder victims. Add to the tension a man that was there who was trying to stop their investigation by any means possible.
From the plot and the intersting story, I would give it four stars. I would go for five if I thought the characters were more compelling. To me, they seemed to be going through the motions of an investation. That was the reason the novel had an unexpected and flat ending.
Characters would be more compelling by their actions. Irene Huss was a jiujitsu champion but I didn't see much there. Since the book was from a third person point of view following her thoughts, the conflict with Tommy and his marriage on the rocks seemed forced. Maybe more could have been done with that.
I think if I read these books in order, I would have gotten more out of this book but I still enjoyed reading it. Prose was great and was easy to follow. I'm still going back to read the other books.
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on February 22, 2013
GoodReads seems to have book five under The Golden Calf and Gold Digger! No kindle and yet my pre ordered came through to my kindle! Dysfunction on GRs like this is too frequent. Any way to address these issues?

The book....written in 2004 and only translated 2013! Night Rounds was 1999/2012! The first three books of the Irene Huss series and the TV films are IMHO fantastic. My research shows she has at least six more to be translated.

I thoroughly enjoy reading this writer. She writes so very well that once I get started I really just want to stay within the world of the book! I enjoy Irene and her family, colleagues and the various characters of each story. They all come together and take shape well. The story was good but not exciting as the first three were. Same as with Night Rounds I am curious why these have been released in this order. Night Rounds was really book 2 but released after the first three, this then is book 5!

I am concerned that the writer seems to have chosen to write Irene Huss in REAL TIME so she is now 42 and so many of the earlier components of her life in the early books are changing already IMO too quickly. Worried, because I enjoy reading these books and curious how she will address this or if she will.

A good read but not exceptional. Wish I could rate enjoyment of reading and content of story in two separate ways and it would be four and three!
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My first introduction to Helene Turnsten's was via the Swedish film series of Detective Inspector Irene Huss. These were/are a wonderful series, and portrayed exactly as I would expect of this finely drawn character.

This is the first novel I have read written by Helene Turnsten, and they are as good as any murder/mystery/operational police series I have read. And believe me, I have read them all. I am particularly interested in the Scandanavian series, and have found them most excellent. This is the fifth in the series featuring Detective Inspector Irene Huss, and it is a brilliant one. An extremely wealthy businessman is found murdered in his new glass palace. His young beautiful, blonde wife finds him, and, of course she is the first suspect. DI Huss is right on ths case, working with her varied colleagues. Her boss, Andersson is older,and it seems he will soon be retiring. He is a good 'cop', but time has worn him down. Irene's other colleagues are excellent, and lasting ties are drawn. Irene is especially fond of her colleague, Tommy, and he and his wife are having difficulties. It does not show up in his work, but Irene notices problems. The team is deeply immersed in the murder of the man, when two more men are killed. They seem connected, and are also connected to Sanna, the wife left a widow. She, too, is connected and as the investigation continues, Irene and a colleague go to Paris,where they are both accosted. They are getting to the bottom of thematter, and the investigation quickly accelerates. The complex investigation immerses Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues into a world of expensive cars, fancy homes and impressive castles in the air. All of this, the police team can handle, and this is one smart group. I am most impressed with Irene Huss, she is the most intelligent and articulate of the group. There are turns and twists and what is discovered is classy and well laid out.

Detective Inspector Irene Huss is a force, an attractive married woman with twin girls. Her professional and personal life seem to be working well. This is a woman to be admired. Helene Tursten is an accomplished writer of this genre, and I look forward to the next novel.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 02-07-14
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on January 16, 2015
Once again (this is the fifth in Helene Tursten's Irene Huss series), the detectives in Gothenburg's Violent Crimes Unit are called upon to investigate another brutal murder. This time the victim is a wealthy restaurant owner who leaves behind a widow (Sanna) who is quite unwilling to answer questions... even after additional men, all known to Sanna, turn up dead. Although Huss and her colleagues are rather sure Sanna didn't actually commit the crimes, they are convinced she knows more than she is willing to tell.

In the past I was quite pleased with Tursten's stories, but this time I felt a tad disappointed. First off, the plot was confusing to me; I had a difficult time remembering who was related to whom and to what extent the different characters had business dealings. Second, I was disappointed that Tursten didn't bring Irene's family into the story so much this time around. From reading the first four books, I am just as interested in her family as I am in the crimes she investigates. Alas, Krister and the twins were hardly mentioned this time.

But even though I can't give this story as high a rating as the previous four, it was surely enjoyable, and there is no doubt I will continue with the series.
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on January 5, 2015
Another Irene Huss police procedural. At the beginning of this novel 3 men are shot in the head and killed. Irene believes they are all connected and tries to find out what those connections are
The people involved are wealthy - or have been wealthy - and made their money in a ponzi scheme. What have they been up to? HAve they been trying to start another "con"? Is the widow in danger.... she was part of the original ponzi scheme. So many questions
I love the characters - the stories, and the interactions between the main characters
Ready for the next one
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on December 10, 2013
The latest entrant in this enjoyable series is up to author Helene Tursten's high standards. Latest, I should say, in English -- this first appeared in 2004 in Swedish. Six more Tursten novels about Irene Huss remain to be translated, and she's not the only topnotch Scandinavian with lots of books waiting to make it into English. It's nice to think about all that untranslated mayhem waiting to make it to our shores.

The series is set in Sweden's second city of Gotebrg, and features detective inspector Irene Huss -- a high ranking detective whose smarts are matched by her physical skills. "The Golden Calf" focuses on a group of dot-com entrepreneurs who made it big, but whose affairs are tangled into a murderous mess. Who did what to whom is the key question here -- or is it who will do what to whom?

The main attraction in this series is the central character, Irene. She is very, very competent, but what's most refreshing about her is that she is cheerful (most of the time), happily married (ditto), and a fond if sometimes bemused parent. There isn't much Nordic gloom in the Huss household, a refreshing change from so many in the genre.
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on February 28, 2013
Plot is well developed but the story is quickly wrapped up in an improbable scenario of some 20 pages. No prior clues and for mr the conclusion was not related to Sweden or the story itself. It appears the author got tired of the story and wanted to end it.
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on August 13, 2014
I read a review of the fifth book (translated) in this series and was so impressed I researched and discovered the earlier books and got them all. THE GOLDEN CALF is the fourth and as enjoyable as the first three. I have been reading them in order and am delighted with the heroine, her family and fellow officers. Reading the books in order is a must for me and has been well worth the effort involved. In my comments/reviews, I do not include a summary of a plot line. These are mysteries and usually procedurals. If the characters invite me into the narrative, that's all I need.
If you enjoy any of the Scandinavian mystery writers, and women detective protagonists, this series is for you. I have only one remaining to read and I am saving it "for dessert".
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on May 23, 2014
But sometimes annoying. It may be due to translation, but I really loathe exclamation points and these books have them. I think writing should be able to speak for itself...the reader should be able to tell if they are reading something startling without this obnoxious bit of punctuation. But that is just a pet peeve of mine.

I have been doused in Scandinavian crime fiction lately...some far better than others but what they all share is the disbelief in evil..somehow this part of the world thinks anyone who commits murder must be mentally ill. A conclusion I disagree with. And it gets annoying at times how gently criminals are treated. The cops are as sympathetic as a rule as the population, which is not the case in other counties, certainly not the US. They know better...some people are just plain evil and need to be locked away forever. The mental hospitals holding killers sound nicer than retirement homes in US. Kind of depressing...

The detective Irene is not too annoying but she can be. She often decides to investigate on her own, without permission, which makes it seem like she thinks she is smarter than the others. Same in the "Malmo" series. Not an appealing trait, though probably meant to show her "spirit". Also like that series, there is a detective who is a loser (male, of course.)

Better books by Karin Fossum and Kristina Olsson.
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on September 29, 2013
Another great read from Tursten. I like her work as much or more than Sigurdsdottirs, another excellent Icelandic author. So, Iceland, Norway and Sweden continue to supply us with interesting characters and well-structured mysteries.
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