Night Rounds (Inspector Huss #2) byHelene Tursten
Somehow I skipped this and read the third in the series, The Torso after reading the 1st in the series, Detective Inspector Huss. This was more plodding than either of those two and normally that would mean it wasn’t quite as good. That wasn’t the case.
Detective Inspector Irene Huss is a mother and wife, the proud owner of a small dog, a woman who has, like most of us do, some self doubt about many things in her life, and oh yes, quite an intuitive detective in the violent crime squad of the Göteborg, Sweden police.
She deals with all of the realities of life; twin 14 year old daughters who are taking first steps toward adulthood, a husband with a successful career of his own, a dog that needs to be walked, rain or shine, bodies that pile up in a strange crime blamed by some on a ghost. In other words, Ms. Tursten brings Irene to life in a very real way.
This series is filled with characters that bring the story to life, whether it is a young teen girl spreading her wings about veganism, a husband who comes home after a long, hard day in the kitchen as chef of a popular restaurant (and too tired to make love to his wife), team members on the violent crime squad who have their own problems.
I am reminded of the team of detectives in the 87th Precinct. In that great series Ed McBain brings the various detectives to life both on and off the job. While Joe Carella and his cohorts operate in a similar manner; an environment that can be hot or cold, dry or wet, and some better than others; there are many differences too. At one point Irene watches a crime film on TV and thinks about how ridiculous the amount of shootings there are. Irene doesn’t carry a gun normally.
On a very different note; the stores of Lillian Jackson Braun with Qwilleran, Koko and Yum Yum created an atmosphere that you looked forward to coming home to in each book as you read it. Tursten does that with her books, creating a group of characters that it’s like coming home to. It’s not all blood and guts but it includes hurt feelings, irritants in how someone treats another, a car that is old and recalcitrant at times, a boss that you may respect but you may also be frustrated by. In short, a group of characters that we can believe in.
But then there is that spectral hand on the window. “What?” you ask? Here you go. . . read the book.
Tursten gives us characters we can believe in, relate to, laugh with, be irritated with and thoroughly enjoy.
If you like a who done it type of mystery, characters that could be part of your own life, events that make you laugh, cringe, worry, rejoice with, then read this book. You’ll be glad you did.
"If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy." David Frum, Republican, January 18, 2018