cover image Winter Grave

Winter Grave

Helene Tursten trans. from the Swedish by Larlaine Delargy. Soho Crime, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64129-076-0

Det. Insp. Embla Nystrom, who’s also a big game hunter and Nordic light welterweight champion, has a lot on her plate in Tursten’s fast-paced sequel to 2018’s Hunting Game. In Strömstad in western Sweden, she takes on a lethal combination of two missing children, arson, and a policeman’s murder. On the personal side, she has a torrid affair with the married lawyer of a suspect and must cope with nightmares about a lost friend. Though badly injured when assaulted by a man during a moose hunt the previous year, Embla relishes the thrill of the hunt, whether stalking wild boar—or killers bent on gory revenge. Embla and her team manage to create satisfying personal relationships and enjoy some great nights out, and the villains get appropriately punished. Embla also crosses paths with Tursten’s other detective heroine, Irene Huss, and their professional chemistry clicks. Readers will be curious to see how Tursten develops her complex lead in future outings. Those looking for Scandinavian crime fiction that’s not entirely bleak will be rewarded. (Dec.)