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A wintery crime novel
on 9 August 2011
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