From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Goteborg, Sweden, is the setting for this first in a promising series starring Irene Huss, detective inspector in a police force not yet comfortable with women officers. When the apparent suicide of a businessman turns out to be murder, Huss and her colleagues follow a tangled trail that takes them from the haunts of the ostentatiously wealthy to the underworld of drug-dealing biker gangs. The mystery itself is mostly routine, but the overview of Swedish society, its liberal foundation cracked by racism, drugs, and a new wave of vicious crime, forms a compelling backdrop for the story, drawing on the same tensions that fuel Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series. Wallander is considerably more world weary than Huss, but the younger feminist investigator brings her own set of complexities to the table, as she feels her own family endangered by the same forces that threaten society. Translator Murray's feel for nuance, notable in his renderings of several Mankell novels, is equally evident here. Another winner in what is becoming a golden age of European procedurals. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved