List Price: $ 15.95
Save 25 % off List Price
Night Rounds : A Detective Inspector Irene Huss Investigation
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.
A cult hit in its first three installments, the Irene Huss series is available once again for English-language fans.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 14, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Night Rounds by Helene Tursten
"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. Her lips were pressed
tight shut, and she'd shrunk back into her loose-knit poncho.
"Yes, I am!"
With a resigned sigh, the superintendent turned back into the hallway. Holding a yellowed black-and-white photograph between his right thumb and index finger, he paced the room, pausing deliberately before each window. Finally he stopped in front of a particular one, checking the view against the photo. The foggy gray February morning had softened the edges of everything outside, but he could tell that the photo had been taken from this very spot.
A newly planted birch was barely visible on the left-hand side of the photo. As he peered through the transom window, he found himself looking directly into the crown of a fullgrown tree.
He walked ponderously back to the woman at her desk. He hesitated, then loudly cleared his throat. "Well, Nurse Siv, you can certainly understand my difficulty here." Her ash-gray face turned toward him. "It was that nurse I saw."
"Oh, for . . . !"He swallowed the curse. "The woman in this photo has been dead for fifty years!"
"I know. But it was her!"
The nightnurse, Siv Persson, had just stepped into the hallway when the lights went out. The street lamps outside spread a weak glow through the tall windows, but not enough to light up the hall. It appeared that only the hospital had lost power.
The nurse stopped short and spoke aloud into the darkness.
Hesitantly, she returned to the nurses' station. With help from the streetlamps, she fumbled for the desk chair and sank down into it. She jumped, startled, when the respirator alarm went off in the small intensive-care unit. The sound was dampened by the solid double doors that isolated the unit, but the alarm still pierced the silence.
From her station she cast a practiced glance along the hallway and screamed. A dark shadow loomed in the door.
"It's only me," came the doctor's exasperated voice. Nurse Persson jumped up from her chair. Without another word, the doctor rushed down the hallway to the ICU; the nurse followed him, using his fluttering white coat like a beacon in the dark.
Inside the ICU the sound was deafening.
"Marianne! Turn off the alarm!" the doctor shouted.
There was no answer from the ICU nurse who was supposed to be on duty.
"Siv. Find a flashlight."
Nurse Siv said weakly, "I . . . forgot my flashlight when I was here helping Marianne turn Mr. Peterz�n. It must be underneath the examination cart."
"Go get it!"
She fumbled her way back toward the door. Her fingers rooted around in the darkness until they knocked against a hard plastic case. She pulled the case out and headed back in the direction of the doctor.
"Where are you?" she asked.
His hand on her arm made her jump. He grabbed the case from her.
"What's this? The emergency kit? How can we use that when we can't see?"
"Look inside. The bag-valve mask and a laryngoscope are in there," she answered. "The laryngoscope is powered up, and you can use its light."
The doctor muttered to himself as he opened the case. After some searching he found the lamp for guiding a breathing tube into the pharynx of anesthetized or unconscious patients. He clicked it open and shone the narrow beam of bright light
toward the old man lying in the bed.
Now that they could orient themselves, Nurse Siv stepped toward the respirator by the bed and shut off the alarm. The silence echoed in their heads. They heard the sound of their own breathing.
"His heart's stopped. Where is Marianne? Marianne!" the doctor shouted. He placed the ventilator mask over the patient's nose and mouth. "Take care of his breathing while I do CPR," he hissed through tight lips.
Siv began to pump air into the unmoving lungs. The doctor pressed down on the man's breastbone, his palms rhythmically trying to stimulate the silent heart. They did not speak while they worked. The doctor took a minute to inject epinephrine directly into the heart muscle. It was no use. The heart would not resume beating. Finally they were forced to give up.
"It didn't work, damn it. Where is Marianne? And why hasn't the backup generator turned on?"
When the doctor flashed the light of the laryngoscope around the room, Nurse Siv glimpsed the examination cart. She stepped carefully toward it, her arm out stiffly, hip high. She moved her right hand along the top of the cart, over the examination instruments and plastic gloves. Finally she found the barrel of her flashlight and turned it on.
The beam of light struck the doctor right between the eyes, and he threw up his hands with a muffled curse.
"Uh . . . sorry," Siv stammered. "I didn't realize where you were."
"Okay, okay. I'm just glad you found a working flashlight. Check out the floor. See if she's here. Maybe she's fainted."
But the ICU nurse was not to be found anywhere in the small ICU.
The beam of the flashlight caught a phone, and the doctor strode to it and lifted the receiver. "Dead as a doornail." After thinking a moment, he said, "My cell phone is in the on-call apartment. Let me take the flashlight up there to call emergency
services. Then I'll start searching for Marianne. You didn't see her go past your station, did you?"
"No. I haven't seen her since eleven this evening, when we were in here turning Mr. Peterz�n."
"So she must have gone out the back door. I'll go that way to the on-call apartment and walk upstairs through the operating rooms. That's the closest."
The doctor swung the beam toward the door. Beyond it were the stairs and the elevator to surgery, one floor up. One floor down, on the ground floor, were the polyclinic and physical therapy rooms; one floor below that was the basement, where the X-ray suite, employee changing rooms, and building machinery were located. The hospital was a large area to search, but Surgical Chief of Medicine Dr. L�wander was
the person who knew its layout the best.
Nurse Siv was left alone in the dark. Her legs trembled slightly as she made her way back down the hall to the nurses' station. Out of habit she glanced through the ward door's window. A bone-white moon augmented the mild glow from the street lamps outside. In the cold light from the windows, she could see a woman moving in 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.