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Until Thy Wrath Be Past: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780870981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780870984
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,440 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.

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

'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.

'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.

'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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2011
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dot on 6 Sept. 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mcsmall on 30 Dec. 2011
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 By Richard Latham on 20 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another wonderful crime mystery.
The development of the leading character Rebecka Martinsson runs on apace, she now has a role in the local police force able even to take the lead in criminal investigations. This to my mind mirrors that of the author who I believe comes of age in this fourth installment of this excellent series set in Northern Sweden. Asa Larsson has found her voice and her place in Scandinavian crime fiction; for me she deserves an even wider recognition.
This is a strong novel with a compelling storyline that owes its origins to the second world war and secrets that some would like to keep buried in the past.
Larsson again uses skillfully flashbacks which reveal more insight that keep the reader ahead of even the detectives trying to unravel the case. Great images of the landscape and the people it forges are again to the fore and a strength of her writing; even to the interaction of humans with their animals. The facts gather, converge and spill over into another tense and thrilling conclusion. Beautifully evocative and rooted in the setting of northern Sweden and its prevailing weather conditions. The book speaks of life and death in measured tones; reflects family relationships and friendships in small communities. The reality of the writing enables the reader consider wider issues and understand perhaps what matters and consider what life is truly about.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A quote from Job is not quite my idea of a book title but with Swedish authors, anything is possible. So, another crime mystery set in Northern Sweden. Having just finished 'Midwinter Sacrifice', the similarities in certain aspects of each book is interesting. I wasn't convinced in the book just mentioned about a ghost floating through the pages and, although this one here is less angst driven, it's still a ghost/spirit which does some of the storytelling. It doesn't work for me but no doubt those who believe in the hereafter will disagree.

Anyway, disregarding the ghosts, the book is a decent enough mystery. We do know who the killer is quite early on, so the story is more about unwrapping the layers of hardnosed procrastination by the families involved.

In essence, the murder of two young divers, searching for a downed German Junkers JU-52 which sank into a lake during the war, leads to a story of collaboration with the Nazis, the after-effects today and a difficult investigation for Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson and Inspector Anna-Marie Mella. This is, I think, the fourth book and it's obvious that certain events in previous books are relevant to the relationships. But this doesn't affect the storyline. It's easy to put together what may have happened and I'm not so enthused that I want to read the earlier books.

The author paints a vivid scenic story, an interesting view on personal relationships in a small, dying community with a history of hardiness only those who live there can really appreciate. The finale reads well though whether it takes the readers where they'd like to go is open to question.

I liked Martinsson who, of course, has a mixed-up relationship between work and her lover - but then, don't they all?
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