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Detective Inspector Huss (Inspector Huss #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  2,259 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Inspector Irene Huss, stationed in Goteborg, is called through the rain-drenched wintry streets to the scene of an apparent suicide. The dead man landed on the sidewalk in front of his luxurious duplex apartment. He was a wealthy financier connected, through an old-boys' network, with the first families of Sweden. But the "Society Suicide" turns out to have been a carefull ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Soho Crime (first published 1998)
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Scandinavian/Nordic Mysteries
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62nd out of 144 books — 306 voters

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Community Reviews

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M.J. Fiori
I was happy to pick up a female detective novel (centered around Detective Irene Huss, former Swedish national judo champion, now 35 and working homicide in Stockholm while raising twin teenage girls with her chef husband) from a mystery writer who was also a woman. What seemed at first like the usual "Schwedenkrimi" (as the Germans call it) was actually something much meatier. The meat was not in the whodunit itself, however, and it also took its sweet time emerging. It was that Helene Tursten ...more
I don't get why I liked this book so much?

Inspector Huss does not seem to have any essential character flaws. She has no hidden demons in her background. She loves and cares for her family and I think she prefers weekends to working. She's like so normal.

She goes to work with a bunch of normal acting people and they sit around and discuss cases while eating take-out pizza. Once in a while somebody may get beat-up by a motorcycle gang, puncture a lung, lose a kidney or something, but other than t
I think my favorite television channel is MHZ because they have international mysteries. At first, they had Wallander and Varg Veum, and some werid Italian mystery were everyone was sleeping with everyone. Not only that, but the Detective mano couldn't figure out his partner's daughter was his, even though everyone watching knew within two secs. Eventually they changed the mysteries up and started showing other ones, including Irene Huss. The Irene Huss movies aren't my favorite. They are rather ...more
Minty McBunny
Usually when I read a foreign book like this that has a good plot but awful writing, I feel safe in blaming the translator. But in this case I have read quite a few books translated by Steven T Murray that were flawless, so I think Helene Tursten is the problem.

I bought it because I'd heard the author's name mentioned in reviews of Karin Fossum and Asa Larsson, both of whom I adore. Not even close. The plot was fine, nothing unique or exciting, but sturdy enough to keep my interest. The dialogu
A tedious read, that becomes even more frustrating when you realize, approximately 25 pages in, that the killer is revealed (by clothing) in the prologue.

The translation is clunky, not that I speak Swedish, but the wording is often odd. In one scene, the inspector notices a wall of graffiti: amongst the racial slurs, and cuss words, is the expression "Kilroy was Here!". It's 1998, not 1948.

I also took issue with the roving point of view. The story was told mostly from the perspective of the Ins
ANOTHER new series for me to trek through...and I have - lovely library downloads to eReader while traveling!!

This series (w/ three so far + the TV series in Sweden...) is billed as the Swedish 'Prime Suspect' but Irene Huss is soooo much more likable. This is more like a Swedish Inspector Brunetti, if you want my opinion - good food, family involvment (including dog, Sammie...), completely interesting collegues, wonderful descriptions of place AND good mystery w/ really unusual twists.

Goody go
Helen Tursten's Detective Inspector Huss is a satisfying Swedish police procedural. It is the first in a series featuring Detective Irene Huss.

The crime: a successful, famous, and wealthy businessman is pushed to his death from his balcony landing at the feet of his wife and son. There are many who had motive to kill him, including the members of his own family. The mystery is sometimes slow going but generally well-plotted.

The most enjoyable aspect of the novel, for me, is the character of Iren
Larry Bassett
The writing is to a fine, detailed (and sometimes fun) point.
It was the first time she had been on an Intercity train. Even before she sat down she knew she was out of place. She wasn’t wearing a suit or high-heeled shoes, and she carried no briefcase or laptop. In her black jeans, her down-filled poplin jacket, and her red wool sweater she felt like a total misfit. A woman in a masculine-looking gray pin-striped suit, complementing her pageboy haircut, looked at Irene disapprovingly over the
Nancy Oakes
(note: this a brief review; you can find my longer one here.

I'd put this book up against any good Scandinavian crime fiction novel -- it's got a credible plot with a good mystery wrapped around it, believable characters, and as always, concerns about contemporary issues are embedded within the story. It falls within the category of police procedural, and although I might disagree somewhat with the blurb on my cover calling the book "Sweden's Prime Suspect,” there is very little fault for reader
A difficult read simply due to the writing. I was ready to blame the translator, but have since learned he has translated other books and done a wonderful job. The dialogue seemed artificial and the narration just a little 'off.' The shifting POV was disorienting - sometimes everything is seen through the MC; other times through different characters. This wasn't written in omni, or if it was - it was poorly-written omni. The characters were all sort of dull, and it just didn't hold my interest. ...more
This book definitely makes way into my Top 10 list of "MOST BORING READS". From the very word go, it kicked in a sense of drag almost immediately. You can say that about the basic progression of the plot, the detailing of the police procedural, characterization ... well almost about everything. The responsibility of wasting my time squarely falls on the shoulders of the translator (as I read the English Version). The mystery is not gripping, the plot is plain and the characters are weak. It felt ...more
The 3 stars are the result of 4 stars for plot and some interesting ideas, and 2 stars for lame writing. Sometime I wonder if mystery writers think that their readers are completely stupid, or won't follow the character development or the plot if it is not made pedantically explicit. The protagonist of the story, Swedish police detective Irene Huss, is a nice change from middle-aged semi-alcoholic men who seem to populate so many of today's mysteries. Her life and her experiences ring true, but ...more
On vacation, I was lucky to find a bookstore in a place settled by Norwegians (Poulsbo, Washington); they had a lot of Scandinavian authors of whim I had heard, including Helene Tursten. I had already read through most all of the Scandinavian authors brought to fame here by the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo series and was thinking I had run out.

But this is an entirely new series, for me, anyway, and it features a woman detective. Probably because of that, the central character does not solve mysteri
Tursten has created a wonderfully rich work and family environment for her strong female lead, Detective Inspector Irene Huss of Violent Crimes, Gotenborg, Sweden. Despite the brutally difficult work she does each day investigating the evils of men, she seems remarkably (unbelievably?) centered and grounded and empathetic to victims. She has emotions we recognize. We like to follow her to crime scenes, and stakeouts, despite the grim business we often find there. This is a very strong lead-in to ...more
A Swedish police procedural with a lot of procedure. Irene Huss is a senior inspector in a squad of detectives that is tasked with solving the murder of one of the wealthiest and (as the investigation uncovers) least liked citizens of the land of blondes, moose and the Nobel Prize. The action takes place in Goteborg, Sweden's second city, where the freezing rain and black ice season lasts from November to March. Its citizens, including its police officers, are a dour lot, getting on with their b ...more
Milo King
This is the first in a series about a female detective inspector for the Violent Crimes Unit of the Göteborg PD in Sweden's second largest city. While the author, Helene Tursten, has been compared to Britain's PD. James, I am thinking that the reviewer was either reading a later novel or taking into account the authors total output at the time of the review.

This freshman outing has a fairly intricate mystery plot line - and a few of the characters, especially Inspector Huss, are somewhat fleshe
Bonnie Brody
This is the debut novel in the Detective Irene Huss series and the second one I have read, the first being The Torso. While I found The Torso to be a better book and more engaging, I realize that it had time to evolve while Detective Inspector Huss is the lead-in for all the books in this series that follow. It is well-written and gave me a good sense of who the characters are, many of whom are present in Torso. This debut mystery is very good but at times is a bit convoluted.

Irene Huss, the pro
H. P. Reed
This is one of the most poorly written books I've ever started. 7 pages in is enough. But why am I beating on Helene Tursten for her first Inspector Huss novel? She's written more in the series and people have evidently bought them and read them. Some of our own folks here have written positive reviews. Here's my reasons: Scandanavian crime novel authors Jo Nesbo, Asa Larsson, Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell et al. So much intense writing, so much attention to character development, such limpid p ...more
Matteo Pellegrini
Una sera piovosa di novembre. Un colpo sordo sulla ghiaia bagnata. I passanti del centro di Goteborg si radunano sotto il balcone al quinto piano di un palazzo signorile. L'ispettrice Irene Huss, il commissario Andersson e un'affiatata squadra di colleghi iniziano a indagare su ciò che sembra a tutti gli effetti un suicidio. L'improvvisa scomparsa di Richard von Knecht, abile uomo d'affari dell'alta borghesia di Svezia, risveglia enorme interesse nella stampa, mentre si cerca di ricostruire la
Gisela Hafezparast
Really liked this one. Good plot and great "Swedish" police drama. Good story line involving parts of all of Swedish society. What I like about these Swedish crime novels, and this one is a good example, the detectives don't have to be superman/woman, they can and insist on a life outside their police and show that it is a job. I know Wallender and Jo Nesbo are exceptions and whilst I love both, that's the part I don't like about them. This is my first Tursten, but I'll try and read more. Only c ...more
Erica Harmon
Long, enjoyable mystery told from several points of view including the title charachter, Irene Huss, her boss, and another female detective. Apparently Sweden was having the "can't have it all" discussion in the late 1990's via mystery novel, and stay at home dads were already a thing. The issues revolving around fascism, however, felt entirely foreign and somewhat painful to read. The regular swede represented by Tursten was disturbingly short-memoried about WWII atrocities. Clearly, the social ...more
Joy Wilson
As the first book in a series of mystery novels, I felt that this book had a very slow build up. At times I felt like I knew everything about everything except the central mystery; however, this may be necessary for the author to prepare the ground for future stories involving these characters. I enjoyed the character of Irene Huss and the fact that she feels like a real mother who struggles with the job/family imbalance in her life. The mystery was interesting but not compelling enough in some ...more
I had missed reading this one somehow and since it is the beginning of the series I felt it needed to read it. Great characters I love how Irene can balance house, job and family relations and that the plot is still the number one reason to read this book...
Jim Nolt
On a winter's night in Göteborg, Sweden, a wealthy financier falls from his balcony onto the cold, wet sidewalk... and the man's wife and grown son are their to witness the tragedy. A preliminary police investigation soon rules out suicide as was first suspected, and before long Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues are involved in more than one murder... by more than one perpetrator... aided and abetted by folks on more than than one social level... artists, lawyers, Hell's Angels, ...more
An excellent police procedural set in Sweden featuring a very realistic female inspector. I really enjoyed the interplay between the different members of the police force and the plot was entirely engrossing.
As others have already noted, the writing in this book is tedious and boring. Like clipped staccato. There was absolutely no variation in the sentences, which all read like this:

I like cheese. I eat cheese. I'm a cheesehead.

The characters were incredibly dull, the plot thin: some drugs, some murder for money, some jealously. Instead of showing most of the action, Helene Tursten simply had her characters tell what happened during their morning meetings.

"Hey, we should find the killer soon," sai
Dylan Edwards
Thoroughly convincing crime-procedural novel , great characters and a superbly twisting plot
The most boring Scandinavian murder mystery I have ever read. Plod, plod.
Feb 23, 2015 Amelia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amelia by: Margaret Sankey
I loved this detective novel. It probably doesn't hurt that I've spent a little time in Göteborg. The team of police detectives and inspectors and what not are all interesting and have a plethora of personalities and attitudes. The bad guys and relatives of the victims are equally varied. The author gets inside the head of the main characters very nicely. The writing is clear. The family interactions with the main police character are believable and interesting.

From the crime standpoint, murder
Tina Siegel
An interesting and intricate plot, spearheaded by a savvy and strong female whose only problems is that she has no flaws.

I enjoy Tursten's writing, and the way she couples social issues (racism, sexism, bigotry) with the police prodecural. Her style is clean and clear (distractingly bizarre metaphors to the contrary notwithstanding) and she keeps things moving along at a nice pace.

But - and in this Tursten reminds me of Camilla Lackburg - her characters are one dimensional. Two, at the most. T
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Helene Tursten (born in Gothenburg in 1954) is a Swedish writer of crime fiction. The main character in her stories is Detective Inspector Irene Huss. Before becoming an author, Tursten worked as a nurse and then a dentist, but was forced to leave due to illness. During her illness she worked as a translator of medical articles.

* Irene Huss
More about Helene Tursten...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Huss (10 books)
  • Night Rounds (Inspector Huss #2)
  • The Torso (Inspector Huss #3)
  • The Glass Devil
  • The Golden Calf (Inspector Huss #5)
  • The Fire Dance (Inspector Huss #6)
  • The Beige Man (Inspector Huss #7)
  • Det lömska nätet  (Irene Huss, #8)
  • Den som vakar i mörkret (Inspector Huss #9)
  • I skydd av skuggorna (Irene Huss #10)
The Torso (Inspector Huss #3) Night Rounds (Inspector Huss #2) The Glass Devil The Golden Calf (Inspector Huss #5) The Fire Dance (Inspector Huss #6)

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