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The Blood Spilt Hardcover – January 30, 2007

Book 2 of 4 in the Rebecka Martinsson Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; Tra edition (January 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385339828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385339827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Larsson's second novel (after 2006's Sun Storm) takes a riveting look at religious mania, the practice of law in Sweden and crimes as dark and bloody as those in supposedly less progressive countries. Rebecka Martinsson, a tax attorney (as Larsson was before she turned to full-time writing) in Stockholm, had to perform some seriously bloody deeds in the town of Kiruna (Larsson's own birthplace) at the end of Sun Storm. Now she's back at work after some time to recover, and her large law firm is even using her hard-won notoriety for its own publicity. But when a female priest is savagely murdered in Kiruna, Rebecka interrupts her rehab to return there, to help solve a crime much like the one that caused her so much damage. Luckily, she also gets to work again with a sharp and sympathetic local female police inspector, who proves that not every Scandinavian cop or crime solver is a depressive. Fans of Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and Arnaldur Indridason will be rewarded. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Larsson's chilling American debut, Sun Storm(2006), won Sweden's Best First Crime Novel award in 2003. In it, she introduced readers to Rebecka Martinsson, a Stockholm tax attorney who kills three men to stop a bizarre homicidal spree. (The trouble began with the slaying of a church founder in Rebecka's native Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden). Two years later, just as Rebecka is finding some semblance of sanity in her life, a case brings her back to Kiruna, where another member of the clergy has been murdered. (The victim this time is Mildred Nilsson, an outspoken feminist priest who had as many enemies as friends.) Rebecka soon renews her acquaintance with shrewd but kindly policewoman Anna-Maria Mella and meets a host of townspeople who run the gamut from suspicious to serene. Rebecka's return to her hometown prompts memories of her childhood, which keep her grounded as she plunges deeper into the case. Larsson, who was born and raised in Kiruna, delivers plenty of suspense, but her real gift lies in her ability to climb inside the minds of her characters, analyzing their motivations for doing damage and good. She vividly evokes midsummer in rural Sweden, where endless daylight is no deterrent to dark deeds. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I love the characters - a really great story.
L. .G. avid reader
Story is VERY boring and nothing seems to happen until the end of the book.
Avid_Reader84
Well written with very good use of evocative language.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Wehrly on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The reviews aren't really doing this book justice--although as an ex-lawyer my connection to the main character's mixed feelings about her job and colleagues might have swayed me a bit. Larsson deserves enthusiastic praise for the naturalness of the writing, plenty of detail about the characters' thoughts and dilemmas, and the well-described settings. She also is very skilled at making almost every character appealing in some way, despite major flaws, bad judgment, or mental disorder--all that, and still nothing seemed overdone, sentimentalized, or "romancey". The limited amount of police procedure and forensic chops is really not a problem--the book is still engrossing and entertaining. Can't wait for the next...where is it?

Oh, and the wolf Yellow Legs--hope she appears again, too! A neat element of the story brought to life.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Rail on October 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This novel takes place Kiruna, in northern Sweden. A woman priest is found murdered, and it seems as though she had few friends. An attorney winds up involved in the case along, with a female inspector. The story makes some dark flashbacks as we see that the spirit of despair lurks in more than one character's life. Infighting among the town residents, church politics, and the puzzle of who could be the criminal, all compel the reader through this tautly paced book. Although it has some weak spots, overall I enjoyed it. (This review is based on the audio book.)
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By time traveler on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Curiosity about its northern Swedish setting might drive the American mystery-fan to follow this woman-centered crime series. If there is a North American analog to the setting such might be Canada, where folk from a difficult rural north have tended to migrate away to the few more sophisticated southern cities. The lead characters: Rebecka, Stockholm lawyer returned-for-a-while to her northern birthplace, and a local woman-man police team. Though the story is female-centered, the action is plenty brutal. The environment is as rough as you like. The book's weakness is too much focus on returnee Rebecka's re-awakened conflicts around having deserted her roots. It's really the local police pair who identify and seize the murderer. Your decision to continue or not reading this series might depend on how long its off-beat environment still intrigues you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this story, a traumatized attorney named Rebecka Martinsson returns to the area of her birth and finds herself caught up in another murder investigation. (Another, since it was a murder which caused the trauma in the first case-- apparently this happened in the first book in the series). A polarizing female priest has been killed in a small Swedish town, and the police are unable to make headway in the case.

As with all good mysteries, Blood Spilt is as much an investigation of northern Swedish life as it is about the murder itself. What Larsson does really well is play with the ambivalence that Rebecka feels about the town and her roots, digging at the layers that separate her from the past. I was less impressed with the thread about the wolf. I found it too distracting, even though well executed.

I did not read the first book featuring Martinsson before reading Blood Spilt, and I didn't feel that I needed to read it to enjoy the novel. Larsson does a good enough job filling in the backstory that this stands on its own.

Looking forward to reading more by Larsson in the future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn G. on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So far I've read two of the books in this series with others on order to come. But the author's treatment of animals in both books is appalling. Useless violence, in my opinion. Also, the main character, Rebecka, undergoes so much brutality in both novels so far, that I wonder how on earth she can sustain her sanity. According to the excerpt from the next novel in the series, she does end up in a psychiatric hospital. It's just all a bit overwhelming to me. These brutalities aside, however, I still want to read the other books in the series. There's an unknown element that keeps me coming back. I just have to skip lightly over the bad parts. But to read in detail how the animals are treated just causes tears in my eyes. I can't stand it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nitenurse on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Book 2 in this series set in Sweden is no less savage than the first book. The lead character, Rebecka Martinsson was brutally harmed in SUNSTORM and, not fully recovered, returns to her home to work with Policewoman Mella in an attempt to solve yet another murder involving a member of the clergy. The story involves murder, dark secrets, and relationships built on lies, all set in the beautifully described stark winter landscape of northern Sweden. More of policewoman Mella is revealed and we continue to learn more about what makes Rebecka tick. Another good thriller with evolving characters.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Reilly on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Seems like Asa Larsson has decided Rebecka Martinsson was so traumatized by her experience in Sun Storm that she has become incapable of playing any role in this sequel beyond suffering through an unsuccessful recovery and, in the end, being victimized again by a brutal man. She is unessential to any "mystery" and boring in her reflections.

For animal lovers, the cruelty to animals may be offset by a series of rambling descriptions of the migration of a female wolf, which I assume are meant to illustrate something about the book's characters. This trick fails to add any luster to this heartless novel.

I have Larsson's third effort sitting on a shelf. I was looking forward to it until i read this one. To make matters worse, the preview in the paperback issue of this one indicates that Rebecka is an even bigger basket case. Not a promising thought.
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