Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A new Lund

Those suffering withdrawal since the end of triumphant Danish TV series The Killing, may be tempted to check out Swedish detective Irene Huss, based on writer Helene Tursten's character. An introduction for English-language thriller fans comes in publisher Soho Crime's Detective Inspector Huss. The cover to the 2003 edition brands it 'Sweden's Prime Suspect', though no doubt the dabs of Scandinavia's finest, Sarah Lund, would be all over the book if it were published now.

Forty-year-old Irene Huss is admittedly less of a mess than lovely Lund - Huss is a judo-practising, happily married mother of teen twin girls. The crime is different, too: a wealthy businessman falls to his death from his apartment block, although there is the ever-present interference from superiors on such a sensitive case.

The bleak Göteborg atmosphere compares with the Copenhagen of The Killing, then there is Huss's dress sense: 'black jeans, down-filled poplin jacket, and […] red wool sweater'. There is a Lund here, Huss's colleague Håkan, who brims with initiative.

A procedural in the style of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö's Martin Beck series (also set in Sweden), there's the occasional nice change of perspective: 'Since the major renovation a few years ago, Göteborg's Central Station is quite a beautiful place to visit. The dark, polished woodwork of the walls, benches, and pillars creates a turn-of-the-twentieth-century atmosphere. But the crowded flow of travelers, the stoned junkies, and the the winos asleep on the benches are the same as always. The ticket line is the same too, even if nowadays it's computerized with little paper numbers and digital displays above each ticket window.'

A (Swedish) TV series of Detective Inspector Huss mysteries kicked off in 2007 - the slightly grim trailer for the first instalment is here - starring Angela Kovács (pictured), who was also a regular in the Krister Henriksson Wallander series, currently rescreening on BBC4. Six new 90-minute episodes of Irene Huss are due to air in Sweden this autumn - worth picking up, anyone?

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