NIGHT ROUNDS – Helene Tursten

NIGHT ROUNDS refers to the time, near midnight, when nurses and the doctor on duty assess the conditions of the patients.  Night rounds often coincide with a change in shifts.  It is, on one hand a busy time because there is usually a small staff to do all the work.  On the other hand, a ward with  patients, many heavily medicated, is a quiet place, the only time of the day when it is.

One night, Nurse Siv Persson is in charge when there is a shut down of power to the hospital.  The back-up generator fails to turn on.  A respirator alarm goes off and Siv has to handle the emergency.  The other nurses seem to have disappeared and it takes some time before the doctor appears.  The patient does not survive.

As Siv makes her way back to the nurses’ station,  she looks through the window of the door leading to the ward.  “In the old light from thw windows, she could see a woman moving through the stairwell, her back to the nurses’ station.  The woman’s white collar glowed against the dark fabric of her calf-length dress.  Her blond hair was pinned back severely, and above it she wore a starched nurse’s cap.”

“‘You’re absolutely certain this was the nurse you saw last night?’  Superintendent Sven Andersson frowned down at the thin woman sitting at the desk.  “Yes, I am!’    ‘Well, Nurse Siv, you can certainly understand my difficulty here,’…’ The woman in the photo has been dead for fifty years!'”

Nurse Tekla died by hanging herself in the attic.  Lowender Hospital is a private hospital, owned by the Lowender family who have passed the hospital and their medical profession down through the generations.  Siv is a practical woman but she is convinced of this twenty-first century haunting.

NIGHT ROUNDS is about family and about those who find it difficult to find the family they have misses.  Detective Inspector is grounded be her family, her husband, Krister, a chef, and her fourteen year-old twin daughters,  Katerina and Jenny.  Irene and Krister are learning the tightrope walk of raising teenagers whose interests and passions are far more complicated than dolls and bikes.  The Lowender family finds their life’s work in danger of disappearing and newly revealed secrets about old betrayals.

The author builds NIGHT ROUNDS with every word.  To tell a little about the plot is to tell too much.  The series in English to date consists of DETECTIVE INSPECTOR HUSS, THE TORSO, and NIGHT ROUNDS. The books are set in Goteborg, Sweden, a city second in size to Stockholm.  Irene works in a large police department but Irene and her cohorts seem to be reliably normal.  as much as possible, Irene doesn’t bring her work home.  She is thankful that Krister does.  The book deals with murder but not in great detail.  Characters matter as does place.

The books need not be read in order in that they are not published in order in English.  Each can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.

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10 Responses to NIGHT ROUNDS – Helene Tursten

  1. Maxine says:

    Have not read your review as I haven’t read the book yet – am eagerly looking forward to it when it becomes available in the UK in a couple of months (even at the ridiculous price it will cost – as US imports don’t seem to benefit from the usual generous UK discounts). Will bookmark your review to read after I’ve read the book, it has been a very long time (too long) since I read the three previously translated.

  2. Beth says:

    I make it a point to avoid particulars in a story so that it isn’t spoiled for anyone. This book is character driven.

    In NIGHT ROUNDS, Tursten uses the paranormal to good effect without forgetting that Irene Huss is a woman firmly grounded in this one.

  3. Joe Barone says:

    ‘Well, Nurse Siv, you can certainly understand my difficulty here,’…’ The woman in the photo has been dead for fifty years!’”

    That sentence made me decide to put this book on my TBR list. Thanks.

  4. Beth says:

    The author gets hold of the reader in the prologue and doesn’t doesn’t let go.

    Have you read any of Tursten’s books? She is part of the incredible group of writers who rejuvenated the mystery genre.

  5. I just reviewed the first book in this series and can’t wait to read the others. This one sounds especially good!

  6. Pingback: Book review: Night Rounds by Helene Tursten | Petrona

  7. Pingback: AUTHORS S – Y | MURDER by TYPE

  8. Pingback: Review: Night Rounds – Helene Tursten « crimepieces

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