Helene Tursten, Swedish author of the popular Inspector Irene Huss series (An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good; Who Watcheth), has turned to a new detective in Hunting Game. Embla Nyström is 28, and has been plagued by anxiety for years, but manages to suppress most of her fears while on the job. She works as a detective inspector for a mobile unit in Gothenburg, Sweden, and her team is sent all over the country to help solve crimes.
In Hunting Game, Embla is off-duty, happily participating in the annual moose hunt for which she has joined her uncle and his friends since she was a teenager. Unfortunately, a series of strange events begins to happen: a viper is found in the outhouse of the hunting cabin, a wounded fox is found in a steel trap and two of the moose hunt's participants go missing. One of them turns up with a broken neck soon thereafter. Embla, torn between searching as a cop and as a friend, finds the ensuing investigation difficult.
Although Embla Nyström may not be quite as engaging as Irene Huss, readers will be eager for her to see through the subterfuge and catch the killer. Her neuroses are explained by traumatic events she endured as a teenager, and Hunting Game sets up the beginning of what is sure to be an enjoyable series. As always, Tursten aptly captures the quotidian details that make her characters memorable, giving glimpses into hunting culture and the coldness of a Swedish winter. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.