cover image The Beige Man

The Beige Man

Helene Tursten, trans. from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Soho Crime, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-61695-400-0

Two cases that arise on the same wintry night in Göteborg, Sweden, propel Tursten’s excellent seventh mystery featuring Det. Insp. Irene Huss (after 2014’s The Fire Dance). Discovering the culprits behind the hit-and-run that killed Torleif Sandberg, a retired police officer, is straightforward, but the strangulation murder of an abused 12-year-old girl found in an abandoned root cellar requires Huss and her fellow officers to investigate a much larger issue: human trafficking and sex crimes. After questioning pimps in Sweden, Huss and company travel to the island of Tenerife, where Det. Insp. Juan Rejón wants their help with some local murders. In a bizarre meeting with one of the traffickers, Huss witnesses a shockingly violent encounter between rival gangs, but most of the action involves diligently looking for clues in the usual procedural fashion. Cleverly, Tursten doesn’t reveal the significance of the beige man of the title until the last page. [em](Jan.) [/em]