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by Helene Tursten & translated by Steven T. Murray

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-56947-303-X
Publisher: Soho

A new procedural series introduces Det. Insp. Irene Huss, a mother of twins and judo expert, and her coworkers in the Violent Crimes Unit of Goteborg, Sweden, as they’re called upon to solve the murder of wealthy nabob Richard von Knecht, who was pushed off his apartment balcony just as his wife Sylvia and son Henrik drove up to the building entrance. The body is barely cold before von Knecht’s office is firebombed and his cleaning lady disappears. Also on the missing list is an extra set of keys to his premises—a set his wife knew nothing about. Painstaking detective work reveals that von Knecht had an illegitimate son now dying of AIDS; a distaste for poor Henrik, who never truly recovered from a bout of encephalitis; a penchant for young bimbos, including Henrik’s drugged-out wife Charlotte, who is unexpectedly pregnant; and a recent stint as the genial host at a party celebrating his own marriage (which guests referred to as “the 30 years war”). While discovering cui bono, Huss and her partners run smack into a band of Hell’s Angels with dope connections to one of von Knecht’s tenants, identify a set of charred remains, and, at last, find those missing keys.

A strong group to root for, from hypertensive Det. Supt. Sven Andersson to officers Birgitta Moberg, Tommy Persson (who has the preachy task of convincing one of Huss’s daughters to abandon her skinhead pals), laconic Hannu Rauhala, and much-overburdened mom/wife/cop Huss.