By Gillian Flynn
Updated April 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

When a limbless, headless body washes up on Swedish shores, Irene Huss is on the case, which involves a mysterious tattoo, a similar murder in Copenhagen, and many, many pauses for delicious meals and coffee. The Torso, the sequel to Helene Tursten’s Detective Inspector Huss, contrasts Huss’ home life — twin teen girls, a rascally dog, and a vaguely drawn husband — with the gruesomeness of her job. The result can feel a bit ragged: Who cares about young Katarina Huss’ judo dreams when there’s a homicidal crazy to be found? Fortunately, the scenes in which Huss tracks her killer through the underbelly of Copenhagen are as good as Louise Welsh’s similarly creepy tour of Glasgow in The Cutting Room.

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