From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Swedish author Larsson's superb, gut-wrenching police procedural, Insp. Anna-Maria Mella and her longtime partner, Sven-Erik Stålnacke, investigate the brutal torture-murder of Inna Wattrang, head of information for Kallis Mining, whose body is found in an ark, a small cabin on runners, on a frozen lake. The paucity of clues leads the inspector to take the unconventional step of recruiting a new prosecutor, Rebecka Martinsson, to the team. Martinsson's single-minded devotion to her work is of great benefit to Mella, whose inquiries into the self-made founder of Kallis as well as the victim's brother lead her to believe that the motive for the brutal crime stems from Kallis Mining's unscrupulous business practices. While the plot offers little mystery, this intelligent thriller carries tremendous emotional heft and makes Swedish society easily comprehensible to an American reader. Larsson's debut, Sunstorm
(2003), was named Sweden's Best First Crime Novel of the Year. (Aug.)
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*Starred Review* In Larsson’s third American publication, former lawyer Rebecka Martinsson is recovering from shocks suffered at the end of The Blood Spilt (2007), continuing to live in her family home near Kiruna, and avoiding her old colleagues and boss. On the advice of her therapist, she takes a job as a part-time prosecutor in the same police precinct as Anna Maria and Sven-Erick, the police involved in her previous misadventures, making more plausible Rebecka’s continued involvement in their cases. The body of the local mining company’s second in command is found in an ice-fishing shack, and Rebecka is gradually drawn into Anna Maria and Sven-Erick’s investigation, using her knowledge of corporate law and accounting to good advantage. As usual, Larsson does not limit the point of view to her series characters, this time drawing in the mining company’s founder and his Sami-raised half sister, who believes that she can remember the future. Black Path is at least as good as Larsson’s previous entries, with fully fleshed characters, a complex and well-paced plot, and her usual outstanding use of the atmosphere and environment of northern Sweden. Essential reading for all Scandinavian crime fans. --Jessica Moyer