cover image Night Rounds

Night Rounds

Helene Tursten, trans. from the Swedish by Laura A. Wideburg. Soho Crime, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61695-006-4

A self-effacing but effective lead plus a complex whodunit plot add up to a superior Scandinavian crime novel, Tursten’s fourth featuring Det. Insp. Irene Huss (after 2007’s The Glass Devil). When a nurse, Marianne Svärd, is found strangled at a small hospital in Göteborg after a blackout that also claimed the life of a patient who was on a respirator, the night nurse on duty, Siv Persson, tells the police an incredible story. While the power was out, Persson claims she saw the ghost of a nurse who committed suicide in the hospital 50 years earlier after having an affair with a surgeon. While Huss and her team instantly dismiss a supernatural explanation, she becomes convinced that the motive for Svärd’s slaying stems from the hospital’s past. Tursten does an outstanding job of offering multiple plausible murderers, making this the rare procedural that actually requires the reader to evaluate alibis, motives, and means to solve the case. Agent: Anneli Hoier. (Feb.)