An Inspector Irene Huss Mystery by Helene Tursten
Review: In a private hospital on a quiet night, the power suddenly goes out. The lone patient in the intensive care unit dies after his ventilator stops, the ICU nurse missing and later found dead in the basement. Detective Inspector has two deaths on her hands, but she isn't sure who the intended victim was, in Night Rounds, the second mystery in this series — originally published in Sweden as Nattrond in 1999 — by Helene Tursten.
There were only two other staff members in the hospital that night: the physician on call, Dr. Sverker Löwander, and Nurse Siv Persson. Yet Nurse Siv insists there was someone else there, Nurse Tekla, who hanged herself in the hospital in the Spring of 1947; she recognized her from an old photograph that hung in the hospital. Nurse Tekla once had a romantic relationship with Löwander's father. Though the elder Löwander's wife was aware of the affair, she didn't say anything about it until late 1946, when she insisted he call it off. Rumors of her ghost had circulated on and off since then. DI Huss isn't quite sure what to make of Nurse Siv's story, but she's reasonably certain a ghost didn't pull the plug on the hospital's power and murder the ICU nurse in cold blood. After all, what motive could she have to do so?
Night Rounds has a dark, Gothic feel and tone to it. The references to a ghost-like apparition that supposedly haunts the hospital — and may be a suspect in the murders — contribute to this atmosphere. But this isn't a supernatural mystery and as such comes across as a bit confusing. Huss doesn't believe in ghostly murders for a minute yet gives the impression of refusing to exclude the possibility. On a more positive note, the multi-decade story arc is handled in a credible manner and Huss's investigation is paced just about perfectly for a suspense novel, though the danger her family faces seems overly contrived and derivative in an otherwise well-crafted murder mystery storyline.
(Note: Though the second book in this series, it is the fourth to be published in English.)
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Night Rounds for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Glass Devil
Soho Crime (Hardcover), April 2007
ISBN-13: 9781569474525; ISBN-10: 1569474524
Location(s) referenced in Night Rounds: Göteborg, Sweden
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Night Rounds by Helene Tursten — An Inspector Irene Huss Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $25.00