1998 Helene Tursten, along with Liza Marklund the
winner that year and Inger Frimansson, was
shortlisted for the Poloni Prize (magazine Jury's annual
award to the best female author of detective fiction in Swedish).
A nurse turned dentist, Tursten (born 1954) was pensioned
off at the age of thirty nine after developing a chronic rheumatic
disorder. Although brought up in Gothenburg, like more than
one well-known name in Swedish fiction, Tursten has links
with Sunne in Värmland, where she now lives. Like Åke
Edwardson, however, Helene Tursten sets her novels in Gothenburg,
although Irene's investigations in Tatuerad torso (Tattooed
Torso) take her to Copenhagen.
Since her debut novel, Tursten has published two more novels
about police officer Irene Huss, a wife and mother in her
forties. "I didn't want to write about some whisky-drinking
loner... I really don't like it when the female leads in detective
fiction always have to behave like their male predecessors.
Boozing, swearing and bonking..." (Tursten in "Deckarna
föds på promenaden", Anne Johansson, Göteborgs-Posten,
19 September 1999, p.52.)