Tursten, Helene – ‘The Golden Calf’ (translated by Laura A Wideburg)
Hardback: 340 pages (Feb. 2013) Publisher: Soho Press ISBN: 1616950080
This is the fifth of the Irene Huss novels to be translated into English and the second translated by Laura A Wideburg – there are 10 in total published in Swedish thus far.
Irene Huss is a detective-inspector with the Violent Crimes unit in Göteborg – an especially busy day for Huss and her long-time associate, Tommy Persson, starts with the murder of Kjell Ceder – nicknamed “The Golden Calf” for his ability to attract investors. His body was discovered by Sanna, his much younger wife upon her return home with her infant son. Prior to her marriage, Sanna had been newsworthy for her involvement in a spectacular dot-com enterprise failure; the unit learns that the victims in the double-homicide that it is also investigating were tied to the same enterprise and to Sanna. Three years before, Huss and Persson had unsuccessfully investigated the disappearance of another principal in the business and Huss does not believe in coincidence. The trail that Huss follows is a complicated one taking her from Göteborg to Paris and back.
THE GOLDEN CALF is my favourite of the five Irene Huss novels translated thus far. This is a fairly conventional police procedural with a likeable main character, who unusually for such books has few personal problems. It is well plotted with a good core idea and excellently realised characters who interact with one another realistically and are likeable. The only significant flaw for me is that the ending seems a bit rushed.
I will definitely buy the next Irene Huss novel and will look at for other translations by Laura A Wideburg as she was also responsible for translating the previous one in English (NIGHT ROUNDS) which I also enjoyed.
Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland
Originally published at EuroCrime