I was eagerly waiting for this fourth installment of Swedish Investigator Irene Huss. The first books, Detective Inspector Huss, Torso, and Glass Devil, had been so complex and intense that I had expected that level of page-turning compulsion from this book.
Truthfully, I had been a bit put off by the perversities of the other books (incest, sado-masochism, religious zeal), but I found that I missed that element in this book. This was a no-frills police procedural, well-written, but just not compelling.
Also, this book did not convey the sense of place, Sweden, as the first three books did. I missed the feeling of being in a different culture; this could have been American, unlike the other books which were very much Swedish.
One thing I do like about these books – her personal life is kept to a minimum. We see the stress a woman must manage with a family and a demanding job, but it doesn’t dominate the story. She has another family – her co-workers – and we see her interaction with them just as much as we do with her husband and daughters.
I understand that several films have been made based on her first books and that six new Swedish films are in production. Also, several more books are being translated into English and should be available in the States soon. I’m not giving up on Irene Huss; I like her and her Wheaten terrier and want to read more.