The Glass Devil
An Inspector Irene Huss Mystery by Helene Tursten
Review: Goteborg Detective Inspector Irene Huss investigates a bizarre triple murder in The Glass Devil, the fifth mystery in this series (but only the third translated into English) by Swedish author Helene Tursten.
Jacob, a well liked teacher, his father, an elderly minister, and his aging mother who suffered for years from depression are dead, all killed within a very short time of each other. Jacob was found in his cottage with two gunshot wounds, one to his heart and other between the eyes. On his computer screen was drawn an upside-down pentagram in Jacob's own blood. His parents were shot in their bed, once each between the eyes. On their computer screen, too, was drawn the upside-down pentagram in their blood. In addition, a wooden cross with the body of Christ was found turned upside down. Were these murders committed by a devil worshipper? Since the upside-down pentagram is frequently associated with a satanic cult, is it possible someone in such a cult could be the guilty party. But why would anyone in a cult hate the minister's family so much as to murder them all? A surviving family member, Jacob's sister Rebecka, lives in London. Is she, too, in danger? Inspector Huss travels to London to talk with her, only to be rebuffed. It seems she, too, like her mother, suffers from depression and is unwilling to talk.
Upon further investigation at home, however, Inspector Huss finds there was dissention in the church as to who would be promoted to take the pastor's place in the rectory. Rumors and accusations begin to surface by those who could be elected as the next rector. Is it possible that in trying to solve the crime, Irene was overlooking the obvious and simply assumed the killer was an outsider? Could it be one of the church's very own who committed the crime? If so, why? When she comes close to the resolution, she discovers that any person can be a devil, a glass devil. The evil is there but it goes unseen even by those closest to them.
The many facets to Irene's life are on display in The Glass Devil, all to great effect. She is a wife, a mother, and a career woman with a time-consuming, often dangerous, job. The author skillfully weaves the her domestic life with her professional one, and adds a layer of complexity by showing how "common" people, not unlike Irene and her family, can be honest and straightforward yet simultaneously be deceitful and devious. This is an exceptional novel and worth seeking out.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Glass Devil.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a trade paperback edition of The Glass Devil for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Crime (Hardcover), February 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616950064; ISBN-10: 1616950064
Location(s) referenced in The Glass Devil: Goteborg, Sweden, London, England, Scotland
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The Glass Devil by Helene Tursten — An Inspector Irene Huss Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: April 2007
List Price: $13.00