Friday, June 20, 2008

The Black Path-Asa Larsson

The Black Path
Asa Larsson
Delta, Aug 2008, $12.00
ISBN: 9780385341011

In Kiruna, Sweden, the corpse of the woman found on the frozen lake did not require an autopsy to see she was tortured. Police Inspectors Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stainacke lead the investigation into identifying who the Jane Doe is and why she was so brutally battered.

Anna-Maria learns who the deceased is and her connections as a superstar employee at Kallis Mining, an international company with incredible connections at the top of Sweden, Europe and beyond. Chief Prosecutor Alf Bjornfot knows if they are to make a case against politically connected Mauri Kallis, he needs a special top gun at the scene. He asks attorney Rebecka Martinsson to assist them as they make inquiries into the CEO of the firm whose assistant was found murdered on that frozen lake. Rebecka agrees as she needs work to move past her last harrowing case (see THE BLOOD SPLIT) in which she was physically injured and hospitalized and still emotionally traumatized. None of the participants yet realize how convoluted and complex the motive for the homicide is and how dangerous trying to prove it will be.

This is an exhilarating Swedish police procedural legal thriller. The investigation is enhanced by insight into the lead females especially Rebecka who has not moved past the beating she took on her previous case and though she puts up a strong front still has qualms and doubts. The whodunit is well written with red herrings and plausible twists starting with brainstorming to identify who the victim is. The motive is especially fascinating as it seems just out of reach of the prosecution, the cops and the reader yet all the clues are laid out for the audience to know why. Asa Larsson provides a deep entertaining but icy Northern Swedish homicide thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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