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The Glass Devil: An Inspector Irene Huss Investigation    by Helene Thursten order for
Glass Devil
by Helene Thursten
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

First published in Sweden as Glasdjävulen, Helene Thursten's highly recommended third novel, The Glass Devil, features police inspector Irene Huss in an extremely disturbing case involving brutal murders, sordid secrets, monstrous evil, and absolute revenge.

When the action begins, Huss and other investigators are confronted by a triple homicide. First, thirty-one year old school teacher Jacob Schytellius is found shot to death at his parents' summer cottage. Then, the victim's parents - Pastor Sten Schytellius and his wife Elsa - are found shot to death in the church parsonage. Aside from the family connections, at least one other disturbing clue connects the crimes: at each crime scene, a computer monitor screen had been inscribed with an inverted five-pointed star within a circle - a satanic pentagram - and human blood has been used for the inscription.

The diabolically defaced computers - and the purposes for which those computers had been used - will figure prominently throughout Huss' investigation as she eventually finds herself traveling from Sweden to England and Scotland to interview people with connections to the Schytellius family; in the end, as Huss closes in on the shocking solution to the murders, computers will ironically give police investigators the shocking insight needed to expose a tragedy of profound proportions, a tragedy in which unspeakable evil had been disturbingly disguised as innocence, decency, and respectability.

Remarkable as an exceptionally well-done police procedural, and overflowing with compelling characterizations and powerful themes, The Glass Devil features 'one of the most satisfying lead characters in the thriving world of Swedish crime fiction.' Intricately plotted and thoroughly shocking, The Glass Devil is a top-notch mystery. Don't miss it!

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