Monday, December 02, 2019

Winter Grave by Helene Tursten

First Line: Her heart was pounding and her stomach contracted with fear.

Twenty-eight-year-old Detective Inspector Embla Nyström is still recuperating from her recent brush with a killer. Those injuries prevented her from defending her title of Nordic light welterweight boxing champion. She doesn't have time to dwell on that, however, when a little girl goes missing.

The last person the missing girl was seen with was a mentally disabled teenager who gave her a ride home from school. The investigation is made more difficult because the boy will hardly say a word. Public tempers are running high, and when another child goes missing and a police officer is found dead, all hell is about to break loose. Embla and her fellow detectives definitely have their hands full. It's absolutely crucial to find those missing children, and time is running out.

Tursten has created an excellent mystery involving the disappearance of two young children that shows us how easy it is for public opinion to find a scapegoat... and how some people have no business being around children at all, let alone being parents.

For those readers still missing Tursten's Irene Huss, she does make a token appearance. And while we're on the subject of characters, the lives of Embla's fellow officers are fleshed out more, and that adds a lot to the story without bogging down the pace.

I'm having a difficult time warming up to Embla. She's constantly judging people on what they eat, on their weight, how they dress, how they smell. I know human beings do this without even realizing it for the most part-- and to be honest, Embla doesn't voice many of her opinions-- but I do get tired of reading about them. She's abrasive and she knows what she wants. A lawyer in Winter Grave learns that the hard way.

Embla has recurring nightmares about the disappearance of her best friend Lollo when they were both teenagers. Embla feels a great deal of guilt because she hindered the police investigation. Winter Grave ends on a cliffhanger (I can hear groans from some of you) that leads me to believe that we may find out what happened to Lollo in the next book in this series. Even though I don't really care for Embla, I have to admit that I am interested in learning what happened to Lollo. We shall see...

Winter Grave by Helene Tursten
eISBN: 9781641290777
Soho Crime © 2019
eBook, 336 pages

Police Procedural, #2 Embla Nyström mystery
Rating: A-
Source: Net Galley


  1. I do like Helene Tursten's work, Cathy. And although Embla may not be the most sympathetic of main characters, she does sound human (meaning, less than perfect), and I always appreciate that. The plot sounds interesting, too. Glad you liked this.

    1. Yes, I always appreciate a "human" character, too. I think I would have as difficult a time warming up to a "perfect" character as I do to a character like Embla.


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