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This review is from: The Savage Altar (Rebecka Martinsson 1) (Paperback)
The latest in a long line of Nordic crime writing so I did fear that The Savage Altar would suffer by comparison. Luckily it had a lot of features which made it stand out - no cliche seedy male detective with personal problems but a heavily pregnant woman. The principal character, Rebecka Martinsson,is brought in by her friend Sanna Strandgard who has become the principal suspect, when her brother Viktor is murdered in the cult church The Source of All our Strength.
This doesn't feel like the Millennium Project or Henning Mamkell as there as the dramatis personae is huge and the actions are viewed very close-up. The main characters are well drawn and believable, and the plot moves forward at just the right pace; there are a lot of sub plots to occupy the reader and even the minor characters are rich in detail. My only criticism is that the cast is actually too large and I was constantly flipping back and forth trying to remember them all.
An interesting setting (the Arctic mining town of Kiruna) and the cult church congregation and officials was also a novel community to investigate.