cover image Who Watcheth

Who Watcheth

Helene Tursten, trans. from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Soho Crime, $26.95

Fans of serial killer novels will welcome Tursten’s solid ninth mystery featuring Det. Insp. Irene Huss (after 2015’s The Treacherous Net). A journal entry at the start—“I am the one who watcheth in the darkness. I am the Guardian”—clues the reader that a serial killer is about to strike. In a powerful, deftly rendered scene, a dog walker discovers the body of the first victim, Ingela Svensson, who was divorced and lived alone. Huss and her Gothenburg police team learn that Svensson was stalked by someone in the days before her murder. A similar story unfolds with the second victim, Elisabeth Lindberg, likewise divorced and living alone. Punctuating the classic procedural plot are the writings of the Guardian and humanizing details of the personal lives of Huss, her family, and her colleagues. The stakes rise after the killer starts to target women on the force, including Huss’s boss, Supt. Efva Thylqvist, and Huss herself, who decides she is “going to become the hunter.” The action builds to a genuinely shocking denouement. (Dec.)