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Larsson, Asa - 'The Black Path' (translated by Marlaine Delargy)
Paperback: 400 pages (Sep. 2012) Publisher: MacLehose Press ISBN: 0857050338

A fisherman in the frozen north of Sweden leaves his fishing ark for a comfort break. In the few moments while he is outside, the wind catches the ark and whisks it away across the ice. Minutes away from dying of hypothermia, the fisherman has no choice but to stagger to the nearest ark and break in for his own protection. He finds the tortured and mutilated body of a woman hidden in the ark. The woman is eventually identified as an important employee of a global mining company but they can offer no possible explanation for her death.

The two police officers in charge of the case - Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stalnacke - struggle to understand the political and business implications of the victim's work, and to move forward with the case they enlist the help of the local prosecutor, Rebecka Martinsson, to help them with unravelling the complicated mining business.

The police officers have known Rebecka for sometime and are aware of her difficult past and the mental health problems that she has dealt with. She has given up her lucrative private practice to work as a prosecutor in a quiet backwater.

As Rebecka uncovers more and more information, they find that the murder may well be linked to the apparent suicide of a reporter who was writing an exposť of the company.

This is the third book featuring Rebecka, Anna-Maria and Sven-Erik. Although it works as a stand-alone I did feel at a slight disadvantage by not having read the first two books. It is always a fine line for an author to draw when writing sequels as readers of the previous books do not want to be bored by a rehash of previous events but personally I could have done with a bit more of the back-story, especially of Rebecka.

Saying that, it is a good read and I enjoyed it.

Read more reviews of THE BLACK PATH, here and here.

Susan White, England
November 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 11/11/2012 19:00