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.)
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*Starred Review* Larsson's chilling American debut, Sun Storm
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 BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved