Browse Authors:

Helene Tursten books in order

Helene Tursten is a Swedish author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels. She is best known for writing the Detective Inspector Irene Huss mystery series.

Born in Gothenburg in 1954, Helene Tursten worked as a nurse and later, as a dentist, before being forced to leave the occupation due to illness.

It was during her ailment that she worked as a translator of medical articles, before ultimately finding her way to writing crime fiction.

Now a published international author, Helene Tursten is today one of the rising names in the Scandinavian crime fiction landscape.

Although all her books are written in her native Swedish, they have been translated into English by Soho Press–a publisher based in New York City.

Helene Tursten lives in her hometown of Göteborg with her beloved husband and their lovely daughter.

More about Helene Tursten

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1954


Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom

  1. Hunting Game - Jaktmark (2019)
  2. Winter Grave - Sandgrav (2019)
  3. Snowdrift - Snödrev (2020)

Elderly Lady

  1. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good - Äldre dam med onda avsikter (2018)
  2. An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed - Äldre dam med mörka hemligheter (2021)

Inspector Huss

  1. Detective Inspector Huss - Den krossade Tanghästen (2003)
  2. Night Rounds - Nattrond (2012)
  3. The Torso - Tatuerad torso (2007)
  4. The Glass Devil - Glasdjävulen (2007)
  5. The Golden Calf - Guldkalven (2013)
  6. The Fire Dance - Eldsdansen (2014)
  7. The Beige Man - En man med litet ansikte (2015)
  8. The Treacherous Net - Det lömska nätet (2015)
  9. Who Watcheth - Den som vakar i mörkret (2016)
  10. Protected by the Shadows - I skydd av skuggorna (2017)
Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom

Detailed book overview

Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom

Hunting Game

Twenty-eight-year-old Embla Nyström has been plagued by chronic nightmares and racing thoughts ever since she can remember. 

She has learned to channel most of her anxious energy into her position as Detective Inspector in the mobile unit in Gothenburg, Sweden, and into sports. A talented hunter and prizewinning Nordic welterweight, she is glad to be taking a vacation from her high-stress job to attend the annual moose hunt with her family and friends.

But when Embla arrives at her uncle’s cabin in rural Dalsland, she sees an unfamiliar face has joined the group: Peter, enigmatic, attractive, and newly divorced. And she isn’t the only one to notice. 

One longtime member of the hunt doesn’t welcome the presence of an outsider and is quick to point out that with Peter, the group’s number reaches thirteen, a bad omen for the week. Sure enough, a string of unsettling incidents follow, culminating in the disappearance of two hunters. 

Embla takes charge of the search, and they soon find one of the missing men floating facedown in the nearby lake. With the help of local reinforcements, Embla delves into the dark pasts of her fellow hunters in search of a killer.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Jaktmark
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1641290975
Publisher: Soho Crime
Winter Grave

When a little girl disappears a few weeks before Christmas, suspicion falls on the last person she was seen with: the mentally disabled teenage boy who gave her a ride home after school. 

Complicating the matter is the fact that detectives can hardly get a word out of him. When a second child disappears and a police officer is found dead, tensions in the small town of Strömstad reach an all-time high.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Detective Inspector Embla Nyström has just returned to work and is still recovering from her recent brush with a killer, which left her unable to get back in the ring to defend her title of Nordic light welterweight champion. 

As she hunts for the missing children, Embla can’t help but think of the case that has been haunting her for years: the disappearance of her childhood best friend. Could the incidents be linked? 

With the passing of each dark winter day, the odds of finding the children alive shrink, and desperation mounts. Their parents want answers and will stop at nothing to get them

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Sandgrav
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1641292115
Publisher: Soho Crime

When a new lead breaks in the cold case that has long haunted Swedish Detective Inspector Embla Nyström, the truth she’s been seeking about her best friend’s disappearance may finally be revealed—if it doesn’t kill her first.

One winter night, 28-year-old Detective Inspector Embla Nyström receives a phone call that sends her reeling. It’s been fourteen years since her best friend disappeared from a nightclub in Gothenburg, but Embla recognizes her voice before the call abruptly disconnects. Embla is thrilled to learn Lollo is still alive, but before she can dive into the case, she gets another phone call—this time from a relative. A man has been found shot dead in one of the guest houses he and his wife manage in rural Sweden. Could she come take a look?

When Embla arrives on the scene, she receives another shock. The dead man is Milo Stavic, a well-known gang member and one of the last people seen with Lollo. And, as Embla soon learns, the same night that Milo was shot in the guest house, his brother Luca was also killed. Why, after all these years, is someone targeting the Stavic brothers, and where is the third brother? 

With help from a handsome local detective and his police dog in training, Embla launches an investigation into the three Stavic brothers, hoping it will bring her closer to finally finding Lollo and putting an end to her terrible nightmares.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Snödrev
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1641293082
Publisher: Soho Crime

Elderly Lady

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, qualms about a little murder.

Ever since her darling father's untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family's spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father's ancient armchair. It's a solitary existence, and she likes it that way.

Over the course of her adventures—or misadventures—this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud's apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a dead body found in Maud's apartment, will Maud finally become a suspect?

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Äldre dam med onda avsikter
First Release: 2018
Ebook: B079R7QNV2
Publisher: Soho Crime
An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed

Don’t let her age fool you. Maud may be nearly ninety, but if you cross her, this elderly lady is more sinister than sweet.

Eighty-eight-year-old Maud is never looking for trouble, but it always seems to find her. First, a woman in her building met an untimely end: tragic. Then, just recently, a dead body mysteriously appeared in her very own apartment, prompting an investigation by the local Gothenburg authorities. Such a strange coincidence. When it seems suspicion has fallen on her, little old lady that she is, Maud decides to skip town and splurges on a trip to South Africa for herself.

In these six interlocking stories, memories of unfortunate incidents from Maud’s past keep bubbling to the surface, each triggered by something in the present: an image, a word, even a taste. When she lands in Johannesburg at last, eager to move on from the bloody ordeal last summer, she finds certain problems seem to be following her. Luckily, Maud is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands...even if it means she has to get a little blood on them in the process.

Don’t let her age fool you. Maud may be nearly ninety, but this elderly lady still has a few tricks before she’s ready to call it quits.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Äldre dam med mörka hemligheter
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08S7FZ4MC
Publisher: Soho Crime

Inspector Huss

Detective Inspector Huss

One of the most prominent citizens of Göteborg, Sweden, plunges to his death off an apartment balcony, but what appears to be a “society suicide” soon reveals itself to be a carefully plotted murder. Irene Huss finds herself embroiled in a complex and high-stakes investigation. As Huss and her team begin to uncover the victim’s hidden past, they are dragged into Sweden’s seamy underworld of street gangs, struggling immigrants, and neo-Nazis in order to catch the killer.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Den krossade Tanghästen
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-1616951115
Publisher: Soho Crime
Night Rounds

Irene Huss is a former Ju-Jitsu champion, a mother of twin teenage girls, the wife of a successful chef, and a Detective Inspector with the Violent Crimes Unit in Goteborg, Sweden. And now she’s back with a gripping follow-up to Detective Inspector Huss.

One nurse lies dead and another vanishes after their hospital is hit by a blackout. The only witness claims to have seen Nurse Tekla doing her rounds, but Nurse Tekla died sixty years ago. Detective Inspector Irene Huss of the Violent Crimes Unit has the challenge of disentangling wandering ghosts and complex human relationships to get to the bottom of this intriguing case.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Nattrond
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-1616952082
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Torso

Part of a human torso washes up on a beach near Göteborg, Sweden. It is so mutilated that gender is only established by DNA testing. A similar crime, now several years old, remains unsolved in Denmark. 

Detective Inspector Irene Huss is dispatched to Copenhagen to liaise with police. Then a third corpse is discovered. This time it’s identified. It is a girl Detective Huss knew; she had been asked by the girl’s mother to locate her missing daughter. 

A fourth victim, the son of a woman heading the Copenhagen crime squad, is also known to Huss. She fears the killer is tracking her, killing people with whom she is connected. There is even a chilling suggestion that he or she is one of her colleagues.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Tatuerad torso
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1569474532
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Glass Devil

When one of his teachers fails to show up for work, a high school principal calls his friend on the Göteborg police force. To Detective Inspector Irene Huss’s surprise, her boss takes the complaint seriously, even bringing her with him to a remote cottage in southern Sweden to investigate. 

There they discover the body of the teacher in question, victim of a rifle shot to the head. When they visit his parents to break the news, they find the couple dead in their bed, each shot between the eyes. The family’s sole surviving member, their daughter in London, is too grief-stricken for questioning. A swath of suspects arises as Irene investigates, but she has a hunch the answers to this case lie in England.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Glasdjävulen
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1569474891
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Golden Calf

Soho’s perennially popular Swedish crime series featuring Detective Inspector Irene Huss—jiujitsu champion, mother of teenage twin girls, and investigator on Göteborg Murder Squad—is back!

Three men have been shot in one of Göteborg's most fashionable neighborhoods, sending Irene Huss and her colleagues on a goose chase through a tony world of expensive cars and fancy homes. All three victims seem to be tied to one person, the glamorous dot-com darling Sanna Kaegler-Ceder, but Sanna isn’t talking, even when her own life seems to be at stake.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Guldkalven
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1616952983
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Fire Dance

Detective Inspector Irene Huss hasn’t seen Sophie Malmborg for over fifteen years, but she’s still haunted by the strange young ballerina’s role in the fire that killed her stepfather. Why had she refused to speak to Irene and the other case workers? Could an eleven-year-old—even one as disturbed and aloof as Sophie—truly be capable of setting her own house on fire?

Irene’s questions resurface when Sophie, now a young adult, disappears, and the charred remains of a dancer are found in an abandoned warehouse. Irene has a startling realization that could shed light on the case that has been lingering in the back of her mind since the beginning of her career.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Eldsdansen
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1616950125
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Beige Man

A speeding BMW leaves a dead pedestrian in its wake and leads police to the corpse of a young girl in a cellar. Detective Inspector Irene Huss's ensuing investigation draws her into the chilling world of sex trafficking.

Göteborg, Sweden: The high-speed chase of a stolen BMW takes a chilling turn when the two police officers involved witness a gruesome hit-and-run. When they finally recover the abandoned vehicle, search dogs are unable to trace the thieves, but they do uncover an entirely different horror: the half-naked corpse of a young girl in a nearby root cellar.

As Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues struggle to put the pieces together, they discover the man whose car was stolen—a retired police officer—is none other than the victim in the hit-and-run. Could it be a strange coincidence? Or is something larger at play? Meanwhile, the hunt for the girl’s killer leads Irene into the dark world of sex trafficking. An international criminal has arrived in Göteborg, and he’ll stop at nothing to expand his sinister operation.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: En man med litet ansikte
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1616956233
Publisher: Soho Crime
The Treacherous Net

It’s May and the snow has hardly melted in Göteborg, Sweden, but things are heating up quickly for Detective Inspector Irene Huss in the Violent Crimes Unit. The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, naked and horrifically scarred. Then there’s the mummified body that is discovered bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site, not to mention the city’s ongoing problem with gang violence. 

With the sudden influx of cases and one detective out on maternity leave, everyone is stretched thin. To make matters worse, Irene feels more than a little intimidated by the new superintendent, Efva Thylqvist, who uses her sex appeal and smooth talking to bend the predominately male staff to her will.

Then a second young girl is found, wearing what appears to be the other half of the sexy lingerie set recovered near the first body. Fearing the two cases are linked and that the killer may strike again, Irene and her colleagues embark on a desperate hunt that takes them deep into a shadowy world of anonymous online predators and insecure teenage girls on a deadly quest for affirmation.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Det lömska nätet
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1616957674
Publisher: Soho Crime
Who Watcheth

He watches the women from the shadows. He has an understanding with them; as long as they follow his rules, they are safe. But when they sin, he sentences them to death.

A woman is found dead in a cemetery, strangled and covered in plastic. Just a few days before her death, the victim had received a flower, an unintelligible note, and a photograph of herself. 

Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues on the Goteborg police force have neither clue nor motive to track in the case, and when similar murders follow, their search for the killer becomes increasingly desperate. 

Meanwhile, strange things have been going on at home for Irene: first the rose bush in her garden is mangled, then she receives a threatening package with no return address . . .

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: Den som vakar i mörkret
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1616958657
Publisher: Soho Crime
Protected by the Shadows

With gang violence escalating in Göteborg, Sweden, the Organized Crimes Unit pairs with the Violent Crimes Unit to help defuse the situation. But could there be a mole on the force?

A member of a notorious biker gang has been set on fire—alive. Even in a culture where ritual killings are common, this brutal assault attracts the attention of both Irene’s unit and the Organized Crimes Unit. Anticipating a counterattack, the two units team up to patrol the lavish party of a rival gang, but that doesn’t stop another murder from occurring just outside the event hall.

And that’s not the only thing going up in flames. Someone has planted a bomb under Irene’s husband’s car. Fearing for her family’s safety, Irene sends her husband and daughters into hiding and takes up residence at a colleague’s apartment. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that she is being stalked. Somehow, the gangs are always one step ahead of the police. Someone is leaking information. But who? Irene’s life depends on discovering the answer.

Author: Helene Tursten
Original Title: I skydd av skuggorna
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1616959739
Publisher: Soho Crime