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on 22 October 2011
I enjoyed this book very much. I have read the author's previous books and found this the best of the series so far. A good plot, excellent characters and it unfolded in a pleasing way. I can recommend this book to anyone who like a good police mystery. You don't have to have a penchant for Swedish thrillers - a good detective story is good in any language. And this one is good.
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on 20 October 2012
Another major work of crime fiction set in Northern Sweden and like others before her owes some of its plot to shady business practices in the continent of Africa.
Larsson writes so powerfully about the harshness and beauty of the frozen wilderness it is a wonder anything can survive in this landscape.
However when the fear of exposure of a different kind is faced there are no limits that people will go to maintain their secrets even to the point of killing and the brutal taking of life.
The story is beautifully told in terms of relationships and how characters develop and interact with each other. The author again uses the technique of revisiting the past and revealing information to the reader to reappraise the events we have previously learned. These are cleverly done, almost seamlessly until we are placed into a thrilling climax and conclusion that brings all stories up to date and characters interactions have life-ending finality. Great writing.
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on 30 August 2013
I chose 5 stars for this book it was an excellent read once I got going with the story can't wait for my next novel by as a larsson
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on 5 February 2009
I enjoyed Asa Larsson's two previous books featuring Rebecka Martinsson and Anne Marie Mella, and I thought that this book was the best in the series so far.

Rebecka has moved back home to Northern Sweden, and taken up a job in the public prosecutor's office. She becomes involved in investigations following the murder of a local businesswoman. The murdered woman worked for the Kallis mining company, and the book interweaves her story in with the murder investigation.

I thought that this book was extremely well written, and was particularly strong on characterisation. The storyline was compelling and the plot was well paced. The translation was sympathetic (and I've read a few Scandi-translation clunkers, so I know a good one when I see one!)
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It is spring in northern Sweden, when a body is found hidden in a fishing ark, on the frozen lake of Torneträsk. She's dressed for running, not for fishing in icy conditions, yet she's wearing make-up. Whilst inspectors Mella and Stålnacke think it's probably another case of a husband killing his wife, the soon realise she has been tortured. When Mella discovers a link between the dead woman and Kallis Mining, she asks newly appointed special prosecutor, Rebecka Martinsson, to help find out more about one of Sweden's seemingly most successful mining companies. Will they find corruption beneath the respectable façade?

It starts with Rebecka's release from St. Göran's psychiatric unit and her decision to leave her life in Stockholm for her rural home town of Kurravaara near Kiruna. This is the third book in the series of which I have only read the fourth, Until Thy Wrath Be Past, but as she is starting again after a traumatic experience, it's a reasonable place to pick up the plot. I just had to remember that some things hadn't happened yet!

There's a large cast of characters and at times there doesn't seem much point to all of them. Whilst they slow the pace down a bit, by the end, they all have their place in the plot. The family background of Kallis explains not only his rise from nowhere but his mother's mental illness goes some of the way to explaining Ester's behaviour at the end. The head of security is there to add some context to the situation in Uganda and Diddi's wife has her worries about financial security. It does create a wide range of suspects but there's not a lot of time for developing the on-going series characters.

Each character has their moment though and I really like the little moments that Åsa Larsson writes into their stories. Stålnacke and his lost cat, Ester's painting and Rebecka's worrying over the man she left behind. And the climax is one of the most gripping scenes I've read in a long time.
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VINE VOICEon 10 May 2015
This author is one of my favourite Nordic Noir Writers.
She writes on many levels not just the obvious police procedural. Set in very Northern Sweden the location is very different to any I personally know, yet in the novels i can travel there and imagine the deep snow, the cold and the stillness.

This novel is a bit different to the preceding ones. Rebekka Martinsonn is the still th main protagonist around which all the thread revolve but in this one Rebekka is recovering from her injuries, physical and emotional occurred at the end of the previous novel.

The local police are investigating an unusual murder when a wealthy woman's body is found near an ice hole in one of the local's "ark" (small wooden huts to fish from within).
No-one knows who she is or why she is not wearing suitable clothing for the weather.
Rebekka works as a lawyer and is asked to help the police with the research needed. Her story and input winds in and out of the police search for the murderer.

Asa Larsson brings in some fantastic characters, one of which I really took a liking to. She writes from inside that person's mind and I was totally hooked. For me this added a depth I rarely come across in many novels especially crime novels.
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on 2 May 2014
The opener (an ice fisherman whose fishing hut is blown away leaving him standing in the middle of a frozen lake in his underwear) is so off the wall it's hard to beat but believe me, it's nothing compared with the denouement.
While the plots stand comparison with the best it's the characters and their internal landscapes (it's a cliché to say these are mirrored by the setting but it's true) that you find yourself thinking about. Like the other three books I've read so far featuring Rebecka Martinsson (This is the third, the first two are The Savage Altar and The Blood Spilt, number four is Until Thy Wrath Be Past) what drives the action - and the central character is the past.
Or more prosaically the psychology that underpins the plots, but if you are thinking you would find that turgid and off-putting please don't: there is a whole hell of a lot of insight there is also a whole hell of a lot of action.
Very, very highly recommended.
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on 2 May 2013
Now Asa shows that she can write a real adult thriller about an adult world of greed , drugs , international business . So many scandi thrillers are fun to read for an hour or so but fall into that light midsummer murder/ local people/ local crime / child lost in snow or nazi secret same old story line . Here Asa has attempted something much more . It does start slow and the change between one characters thoughts and motivations can be a little confusing , but this is a book to first challenge you and then grip you . It would make a great movie as it is all so visual . Plus Asa has a real feel for the small details; the way she describes Ester painting so that you can see it too , the way her love for cats shines through in their characters .... this is more than just another scandi thriller . I had read so so many of these books they were all blurring into one cold dark mass but this is a great new book . Love it .
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on 24 May 2015
Tripped over Asa Larsson desperately searching for holiday reads.
Have now finished all her books.
She develops gritty, tough characters with nasty skeletons hidden in dark closets then slowly opens each closet in turn.
The beauty of this is it's hard to pick the outcome.
Set against a Swedish chilly backdrop that provides a metaphorical harshness that's reflected in story and writing.
Asa Larsson has the writer's gift of economy and strength in her use of language.
No flowery long words just hard punchy paragraphs that left me smarting.
Made all the more fantastic by her MC Anne-Mare powered by her own demons and disappointments to make things right.
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on 20 September 2010
After reading the first two books of this series...I just couldn't wait to read the Black Path! I just loved the book and the characters are absolutely incredible! I just love Anna Maria Mella and her way of seeing things and acting in tough situations and I can't wait for the fourth book to be translated into English to see how the story continues... I strongly recommend Asa Larsonn's books to anyone who enjoyed reading the Millennium trilogy and who likes the new Swedish crime novels!!
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