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Hunting Game

Review

Hunting Game

written by Helene Tursten, translated by Paul Norlen

HUNTING GAME kicks off a brand new series for Helene Tursten. The central character is Detective Inspector Embla (“the Old Norse counterpart to Eve”) Nyström of Gothenburg, Sweden’s mobile unit. She suffers from chronic nightmares and racing thoughts when she is awake. Over time, she has learned to relay those haunting and disturbing processes into her job and into her boxing; in fact, she is a prize-winning Nordic welterweight.

Tursten brings her readers into the world of moose hunting, run by a very rich man named Anders von Beehn. Embla is part of the hunting party, albeit the only woman. Von Beehn opens his house to the group of hunters and toasts Ola Forsnaess, one of the “three musketeers” who was killed in an automobile accident on his way back to Oslo after last year’s hunt.

"Readers are in for a satisfying novel full of top-notch writing and finely drawn characters. Paul Norlen’s translation from the Swedish is a pleasure to read."

How Forsnaess died becomes a major factor in the narrative as it unfolds and two more hunters are found murdered. At first, the powers that be think their deaths could be accidental. But all the victims received a padded envelope containing a piece of paper that said, “I remember. M.” It takes some investigating to determine what the letter and other contents of the envelopes (key chains, bandanas) symbolize. The twists and turns in the story take readers through a labyrinth of red herrings, false clues and a big assortment of personalities, each with his or her own secrets.

As the story moves on, the hunting group is joined by a newcomer, Peter. He is quite good looking and makes the head count reflect 13 members who will hunt. The superstitious among the group are not happy with this man’s presence, as they think it will bring bad luck. Embla is attracted to Peter and is seduced by him. But to her chagrin, he is a mysterious person who seems to be around at peculiar times. As the case progresses, Peter begins exhibiting odd behavior.

The narrative picks up speed as the hunt begins. Several moose are tracked, and one that is especially huge is bagged by an unexpected but experienced participant. When the police arrive, Embla has been on the lookout for possible suspects. She plays a significant role in solving the mystery of how the men died.

Readers are in for a satisfying novel full of top-notch writing and finely drawn characters. Paul Norlen’s translation from the Swedish is a pleasure to read.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on March 1, 2019

Hunting Game
written by Helene Tursten, translated by Paul Norlen

  • Publication Date: February 26, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime
  • ISBN-10: 161695650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616956509