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Until Thy Wrath Be Past: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation [Hardcover]

Åsa Larsson , Laurie Thompson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Aug 2011 Rebecka Martinsson

It is the first thaw of spring and the body of a young woman surfaces in the River Thorne in the far north of Sweden. Rebecka Martinsson is working as a prosecutor in nearby Karuna. Her sleep has been disturbed by haunting visions of a shadowy, accusing figure. Could the body belong to the ghost in her dreams? And where is the dead girl's boyfriend, also reported as missing the previous winter?

Joining forces once again with Police Inspectors Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stålnacke, Rebecka is drawn into an investigation that centres on old rumours about a plane carrying supplies for German troops in 1943 that never arrived. Shame and secrecy shroud the locals' memories of the war, with Sweden's early collaboration with the Nazis still a raw wound. And on the windswept shore of a frozen lake lurks a killer who will kill again to keep the past buried for ever beneath half a century's silent ice and snow.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press; First U.S. Edition edition (4 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857050729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857050724
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Fans of Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and Arnaldur Indridason will not be disappointed' Publishers Weekly.

'Creepy crime thriller' Star magazine.

'This book was so good! A lot of Swedish crime books carry the comparison of being as good as Henning Mankell and many of them simply aren't. However, I actually thought that this was better than Mankell's books ... Åsa Larsson weaves an extremely intricate plot and we view the actions directly from several different characters ...' Dot Scribbles.

'Until thy Wrath be Past is a brutal, yet beautiful, tragedy. The strength of Åsa Larsson's characters made it very difficult to put the book down ... I just had to keep turning those pages' Erik Lundqvist, in I Will Read Books.

'Larsson's laid back style makes her unflinching probing of icy depths of the human heart all the more chilling' Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph.

'Asa Larsson is a markedly different writer, with notably cooler prose, and unlike her multimillion-selling namesake, Stieg ... The novel shows that Larsson is ready to confront unpalatable truths. Among the current batch of Nordic writers, the new Larsson is one to be followed with the most minute attention' Barry Forshaw in the Independent.

'Let me get my verdict on this novel out of the way first: brilliant. It has been a long wait for those of us for whom Åsa Larsson's novels strike a deep chord ... thanks to MacLehose Press taking on this talented author ... Until Thy Wrath confirms my view that Åsa Larsson is, along with Johan Theorin, writing today's highest-quality psychological crime novels, particularly strong in their evocation of the local communities, myths and superstitions that are all in danger of dying out in our globalised, homogenised society' Maxine Clarke, Eurocrime.

From the Inside Flap

In the first thaw of spring the body of a young woman surfaces in the River Torne in the far north of Sweden. Rebecka Martinsson is working as a prosecutor in nearby Kiruna. Her sleep has been disturbed by haunting visions of a shadowy, accusing figure. Could the body belong to the ghost in her dreams? Joining forces with Police Inspector Anna-Maria Mella, Martinsson is drawn into an investigation that focuses on old rumours about the disappearance of a plane carrying supplies for the Wehrmacht in 1943. Shame and secrecy shroud the locals' memories of the war, with Sweden's early co-operation with the Germans still a raw wound. And on the windswept shore of a frozen lake waits a killer who will kill again to keep the past buried forever beneath half a century of silent ice and snow. The physical courage of Martinsson is remarkable, and her at times uneasy collaboration with Inspector Mella - two women confronting murderous criminals - is dogged at every step by an unflinchingly chauvinistic police establishment.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wintery crime novel 9 Aug 2011
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Set in the northern reaches of Sweden, a young couple went missing over winter, presumed dead in a diving accident. When the spring thaw releases the girl's body, Inspector Mella and prosecutor Martinsson start investigating the secrets of a small isolated town where everyone knows everyone.

The story is narrated by the dead girl, Wilma. In a similar style to The Book Thief, the narrator doesn't make herself known on every page and the majority is told in third person. Larsson does a wonderful job of depicting the northern winter and long thaw of spring; it's a Swedish crime novel that is undoubtedly Swedish!

It is part of the Rebecka Martinsson series but I read it as a standalone novel. Whilst there are obviously some events that happened in the past that have severely affected Martinsson and Mella, I don't think lack of knowledge detracts from enjoying the overall plot. In my mind, I can work out what happened though I would personally like to read the earlier books now. I would be more than happy to add Asa Larsson to my crime shelf in future.

If you're interested in reading the series from the start, here's the reading order:

#1 The Savage Altar (Sun Storm)
#2 The Blood Spilt
#3 The Black Path
#4 Until Thy Wrath Be Past
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 6 Sep 2011
By Dot
Format:Hardcover
This book was so good! A lot of Swedish crime books carry the comparison of being as good as Henning Mankell and many of them simply aren't. However, I actually thought that this was better than Mankell's books and I am very excited to have found another new crime writer to enjoy.
Until Thy Wrath Be Past focuses on the disappearance of Wilma and Simon, a young couple who went diving and never returned until Wilma's body is discovered in the water. Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson is involved from the very beginning and she just knows that the deaths were not accidental but who would want to kill two young, innocent people? Anna-Maria Mella is the detective in charge and she too is convinced that she is dealing with a double murder.
There are many mysteries and secrets surrounding Wilma and Simon's disappearance and Rebecka and Mella have to battle to get anyone to talk as it seems they are afraid to divulge anything. Both women are persistent though and pieces of the puzzle start fitting together. Neither woman thought that this investigation would lead them back to the Second World War but people did all kinds of things during that time, events from the past that they would do anything to keep hidden.
Asa Larsson weaves an extremely intricate plot and we view the actions directly from several different characters including the deceased Wilma. This allows the plot and mystery to build up gradually but even then I wasn't expecting the twists and turns at the very end. I think that Until Thy Wrath Be Past is a particularly clever book, I made several assumptions about characters and was proved wrong on several occasions. I felt like I was continually trying to work it all out which is so much better than some crime novels where the end is easily predicted about half way through. There are three previous books in this series which I shall certainly be adding to my wish list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book at so many levels 30 Dec 2011
By mcsmall
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It would be an injustice to call this book a murder mystery.Whilst the mysterious death of two young people is its initial focus, it deals with so many diverse and interesting issues; the psychology of individuals,family dynamics, ? life after death ,vivid descriptions of the North Swedish landscape and the thorny question of the extent of Swedish neutrality in the Second World War. The writing and translation is of a high quality. It was one of those books that I did not want to end
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Until Thy Wrath...... 5 May 2013
By Ludder
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another good novel from Asa Larrson with an intriguing format. The miscreants are known from near the start of the book but it still holds the reader's attention. Will there be a sequel? It is a mystery how Rebecca has survived.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars getting into Asa Larsson now 25 April 2013
By cartoon
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
last year I was very ambivalent about the first couple of Larsson books but having read obsesssively all of Lackberg and kallentoft and Jungstedt and Ceder etc etc I thought I would give her another try . Brilliant ! She has grown into a mature story teller . yes this is a thriller , but it is also a gentle page turner , a story of consiquences , breakdown and the truths that families hide . I would say that it is more of a womans story that for those who want police proceedure . I can tell that Larsson not only loves and respects the landscape but also animals . The way she writes about vera and Tintin the dogs makes them characters to really care about . my favourite scandi book of the year so far .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling 8 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good read. Including interesting historical information on Sweden's attitude to Germany during the second world war. If you liked the "girl" books by Stig Larsson you will enjoy these .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ice Cold in Sweden 12 Nov 2012
By EKO8
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Until Thy Wrath be Past" is the second Asa Larsson novel that I have read. The first introduced me to the main characters but plotwise was a bit far fetched. This one is very good indeed and concerns the disappearance and murder of two intrepid youths who go for a dive under the ice in search of a German plane that crashed in a lake during the war. Their way back to the surface through an ice hole is blocked and they die. The quirky forensic scientist diagnoses murder and Anne Marie Mella is the police investigator but Martinsson takes over in her role as deputy prosecutor and with the use of her intuition and humanity not forgetting some supernatural element solves the case. The book is very tenderly written with feelings uppermost. The rural element and the winter wildness it conjures up adds to the mix.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Pretty good
Published 11 hours ago by Mary Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Book
A strange story beautifully told with characters who live vividly in the pages so easily turned.A bit of paranormal, but it is not intrusive. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Gordon Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Addictive series
Published 19 days ago by Miss S. J. Draper
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic read, I can still feel the snow on ...
a fantastic read, I can still feel the snow on my neck and going through my padded coat,I am on my terrace in devon in shorts and T shirt. Read more
Published 23 days ago by patricia angel
3.0 out of 5 stars too self-indulgent
This is my second Ms. Larsson book. The first, The Black Path, proved promising with a decent plot (although the ending was predictable), memorable characters and touches of... Read more
Published 23 days ago by pierre
3.0 out of 5 stars Wandering Wrath
At first I thought this book was going to be really rather good. It involves a nasty family, very nasty. Read more
Published 1 month ago by nickyb
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviviting read
So really enjoyed reading this could not put it down .The story starts with Wilma as a ghost and how she sees her grandma and her murders how she dies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you gripped with anticipation -very well written/translated
Once again I loved reading Asa Larsson's gripping and thrilling story, following Rebecca's struggle through life and the characters she becomes involved with. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elaine quinn
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I have enjoyed all her books so far. I look forward to the next one, which ever it is.
Dave
Published 2 months ago by David Hoatson
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read
Thoroughly enjoyable read, this the first book by Åsa Larsson I've read somehow the previous books slipped by. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lili
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