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on 10 January 2014
I like these stories, although they never quite grab me the way some books do, you want to finish them and know how things turn out, and sometimes that's enough. I'll read the next one, assuming there is one, hope it'll be as intriguing as the first, at least as good as this one and that just for once the central protagonist doesn't end up hospitalised.... the fact that she always does would be my only gripe!
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on 10 January 2014
The author is a distinctive and distinguished voice in Swedish crime
fiction.Her novels feature District Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson
whose troubles have led her to return to work and live where she was
brought up,north of the Arctic circle in Lapland,which is where the novel
is set.
The complex tale begins with a bear hunt.The remains of a human is found
in the dead animal's stomach. Martinsson is then asked to assist her
neighbour in locating an elderly woman who has not appeared at her work,
she is found to have been brutally murdered,and her young grandson has
When Martinsson is taken off the case she continues with her own enquiries.
Juxtaposed with the main plot is the story of a young female schoolteacher,
many years before,who falls for the local mine owner and is murdered.
This is a highly accomplished novel,expertly plotted ,with strong characterisation,
and a vivid sense of place. It is a tale about the limits some go to serve their
avarice.Highly recommended.
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on 15 February 2014
This is the second book I have read from this author and a enjoyed it more. I have got into recognizing the Scandinavian names and appreciating the description of the countryside in the story. I found the story fast paced and I read well into the night to finish the book although I knew ' who doneit' I needed to know how Rebekka and Marcus had escaped. The inter relationship with the dogs was very well written and although I am not a dog lover I would have gladly given any of the dogs a home. The love interest is gently done and I look forward to seeing what transpires in future books. The second story woven into the main story of the ancestors was not distracting as it so often is. On the whole a very good read and I can see this making another television series to rival the Killing and the Bridge!
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on 24 December 2013
I have read them all and they have all been brilliant. Rebecca always ends up battered and something really horrible that makes you cry tends to happen. The book didn't disappoint on both those counts. Can't wait for the next one.
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on 31 January 2014
I am a great fan of Asa Larsson's work and The Second Deadly Sin certainly does not disappoint. Larsson develops her characters so the reader gets a good feel for their personality. There is plenty of action to keep the reader involved. Larsson has a great ability to set the scene which gives the story atmosphere and, at the same time, gives a look into life in a small Swedish town. Add to all of this the politics of the police and the ineptness of a defense attorney who nearly botches the case. Although this is a stand alone mystery, I would recommend beginning with the first Rebecka Martinsson book to get a feel for how she's evolved over the several books in the series.
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on 5 February 2014
The story opens in northern Sweden with a hunt for a wounded bear: a bear that has killed Samuel Johansson’s dog. The bear is tracked, and then killed. Human remains are found in its stomach. In the nearby town of Kiruna, Sol-Britt Uusitalo has been brutally murdered, and her seven year old grandson Marcus is missing. What is the connection between these events?

Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson is initially assigned to the murder investigation, until one of her colleagues (Carl von Post) contrives to have her removed. He takes over the investigation and Martinsson takes leave. But she doesn’t stop thinking about the case, or looking into it.

There’s a second older story woven through the novel. One hundred years earlier when Kiruna was a new town, Elina Pettersson, a young school teacher arrives determined to make a new life for herself. She falls in love, is betrayed and then brutally murdered. The story of who betrayed Elina and who murdered her and why makes sad reading.

The story moves between the contemporary investigations into Sol-Britt Uusitalo’s murder, the fate of her grandson Marcus, and the story of Elina Pettersson. The connections between the stories gradually become clearer as does the motive for murder. Rebecka Martinsson has to make a number of choices, and one of them tore at her heart (and mine).

This is my first Åsa Larsson novel, and I’ll be looking to read the others. Rebecka Martinsson is an intriguing character, as are some of the others who people the novel. Dogs are also important in this story, with one in particular being a hero. It’s black and bleak, but there’s hope as well – for some. I found this novel challenging and while I recommend it, it’s not for the squeamish.

‘The moon is like a cold white goddess in the black sky.’

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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on 7 July 2015
I'm really enjoying this series set in the far north of Sweden. In the previous books, the crimes were very grisly, but this starts off as a fairly predictable mystery when a woman is murdered in her own home. We know there is more to it, because the action keeps switching to the story of a schoolteacher who travelled north during WWI and had an affair with a prominent local businessman. I felt that the investigation lost momentum halfway through, but when, towards the end, I got the inkling of a motive for the crime, I felt a real sense of menace. Unlike many crime series, this is one that that really needs to be read in order, because the reader needs to know Rebecka's back story and there is information in later novels that gives away some of the plot in earlier ones.
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on 3 August 2014
This is the fifth in this series. At first I found the jumping between the past and the present annoying. I think this was because the historical elements had a slower pace than the contemporary sections, making me feel that I was held up by a romantic novel rather than the thriller. As the book wore on this faded to the point where both are equally dramatic and the threads begin to entwine. This was tricky writing but this outstanding author pulled it off. Either as an introduction to Asa Larson and her very authentic group of Lapland characters, or as a follow on this is a book which will engage all followers of the genre.

My only other gripe is that the smooth finish of the work was suggestive of heavy handed editing.I would like to have seen the author's original ms. She is a better writer than her editors.
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I like this series and found this book engrossing as it moves from present to past and back again. In the present a woman is murdered by a pitchfork and Rebekka investigates associated crime whilst on leave as she has been manoeuvred off the case by an ambitious rival. At the same time there is a First World War romance narrative interspersed with the present day action. I found I kept wanting to turn the pages to find out how these two plot lines would merge. This is a good read with an interesting plot and characters.
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This story I should advise people isn’t fast paced, it crawls along at a more slower and sedate pace, but is still worth reading. It starts with human remains being found in a bear, and then a few months later a grisly death of a woman, but a few years before there had been a hit and run, and all the victims belong to the same family. Coincidence – or something much more sinister? With the latest death there was a possible witness, a seven year old boy, but being traumatised he is not really in a position to say what he saw.

District Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson has taken on the case, but only to find herself being removed due to the political wrangling of her colleague, von Post. Von Post has been proven a bit useless in the past but he sees a chance to make a name for himself here and gain some kudos, but does he really have what it takes? When he solves the case quite quickly making it an open and shut case could he be wrong or right? Rebecka has got the bone between her teeth and isn’t letting go, and she starts looking at the case with regards to the previous deaths in the family.

Ultimately a story of greed and betrayal this slips between the present and past happenings in the first quarter of the 20th Century. Although quite a thoughtful read that does draw you in, I did find at times that perhaps we were being given too much information and detail from the past, ultimately disturbing the flow of the story on the whole, but the characters are quite well realised and the descriptions really help to bring the landscape alive. This is also the first novel that I have read by Asa Larsson, but after this I will definitely read more of her books.

I was kindly provided with a review copy by the publisher via NetGalley.
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