Sunday, July 29, 2018

Night Rounds: Helene Tursten

This is the second book in Helene Tursten's series featuring Inspector Irene Huss, and is set in Sweden. The story starts when the power goes out in a hospital and the backup generator has been disabled. Only a skeleton staff is working at the time, and one of the nurses can't be found. The police are called in; after the dead body of the missing nurse is found, the homicide detectives arrive. The author's background is in nursing and dentistry; thus she has insights into the daily (and nightly) events at a hospital.

Irene's husband is a chef, and they have twin daughters and a dog. They feel like a real family; the parents both have demanding jobs, and have a hard time finding time to spend with each other. The two girls are teenagers and at that stage where parents worry about them a lot. Irene takes the dog, Sammie, to doggie day care if no one's going to be at home.

The story is told primarily from Irene's point of view. She is a female policewoman working in a predominantly male department. The other female in the department is experiencing sexual harassment at work, and it doesn't get handled very well by the bosses. Other social issues are covered as well (homelessness, mental patients released too early), but they never take over the story.

You can probably tell that I enjoyed this book. The reader follows the details and repetitive work involved in a murder investigation; there are not a lot of sensational events but the story is complex and there are plenty of surprises. I sometimes get irritated when the police in mysteries seem to forget facts or not realize their importance or put off following up on them, but that is probably like real life. The police make mistakes too and they have too much work and can't get to everything.

I read this book as a part of the European Reading Challenge. I had previously read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Detective Inspector Huss. One of the advantages of taking a long time to get going on a foreign language series is that you are more likely to have the books available to read in order. In this case, Night Rounds was the fourth of Tursten's novels that were translated, but the second in the series. I have had this one for five years but I am finally getting around to it. And there now seem to be ten books in the series that have been translated in English.

See more  reviews of Night Rounds at:
the crime segments (review of the first book here also)
Mysteries in Paradise
Ms. Wordopolis


Publisher:   Soho Press, 2012 (orig. pub. 1999)
Length:       326 pages
Format:      Trade paperback
Series:       Inspector Irene Huss #2
Setting:      Sweden
Genre:        Police procedural
Translation:   Laura A. Wideburg
Source:      I purchased this book.


Kay said...

First of all, the cover on that book is rather creepy. Something about the black and white of the picture. Another series that I've known about, but never picked up. I agree about waiting for those series to be translated, though why they do them out of order is a mystery to me. Ha!

TracyK said...

That's funny, Kay. I love that cover, and don't even know why, but it is creepy. There is an element to the story related to the sighting of a ghost, who supposedly had died long, long ago in the hospital. I will never understand why they translate series out of order, but it seems to happen a lot.

Clothes In Books said...

I find hospital mysteries very creepy. This does sound good, but I am reluctant to start on a new know how it is!

NancyElin said...

Tracy, I read the first in this series (2013) after reading your review. Now I can look forward to the second book in the series!

Anonymous said...

Fine review, Tracy, for which thanks. I thought it was a well-written book, too, and I do like the continuing story of the Huss family. I thought the hospital atmosphere was done effectively, too. Glad you enjoyed this.

TracyK said...

I do know how it is, Moira. The only other hospital mystery I can think of it Green for Danger, I will have to investigate more examples.

TracyK said...

This one was interesting, Nancy. I have heard the 3rd and 4th in the series are very different, but I will be trying them anyway. Eventually.

TracyK said...

I do like the Huss family, Margot. Nice but with enough rough edges to be interesting. And Irene is a strong and intelligent female character, which I appreciate.

Rick Robinson said...

Fine review, and as usual with the things you review, I'm tempted.

It seems we've gotten to a place where nearly every contemporary mystery must have a sexual harassment subplot. Is that what we've come to? The one I'm reading now has that too, and I'm not at all sure it's needed for the overall plot, it just seems to be added in to make the reader sympathetic to the peripheral character, or else increase dislike for the man, who is already a "bad guy". But off the soap box...

I have read only a couple of Scandinavian mysteries, and they both were very hard-edged. Not what I wanted at the time, so perhaps I'm being unfair, but I tend to avoid them these days.

TracyK said...

I do know what you mean, Rick, and I prefer social issues not interfering with my mystery but it depends on the author also. In this case the book was written in 1999 so not that contemporary.

I am not rushing to acquire any more Scandinavian authors on my shelves, but I have quite a few more on my TBR pile so I will try those out.

Mathew Paust said...

Hospitals in general give me the creeps, Tracy, so that cover at first glance made me shiver. But I like good police procedurals, and I shall keep an eye out for this series.

Mathew Paust said...

I just downloaded the first book in the series. Thanks for the introduction, Tracy!

TracyK said...

Police procedurals are one of my favorite types of mystery, Matt. I hope you like the first book, Mathew, I did.

Anonymous said...

I own all of these in the series so far. Good to see you enjoyed, Tracy. Thanks for the review. --Keishon

PS I can now comment without having to change Browsers.

TracyK said...

Keishon, I am glad that commenting has improved. I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

col2910 said...

Soho have some great covers, Tracy. It sounds good and I'm glad you liked it, but it probably won't be one I'll read myself as I have far too much already.

TracyK said...

I do like most of the Soho covers, Col, which makes me a sucker for buying them. They have changed their style lately, which I don't like as well, but it is the content that matters.

Anonymous said...

Funny, but I have read and liked all of the Irene Huss series, except this one. I had to stop reading the book.
The rest of the series is good, but there is some gruesome brutality in a few of them. It doesn't take away from the books though.
The TV series is excellent, with Angela Kovac playing Irene Huss.

TracyK said...

I do think I remember seeing comments of yours at other reviews of Tursten's books, Kathy. I am glad you liked the rest of the books in the series, as I do want to read them all.