THE BLOOD SPILT by Åsa Larsson
Kirkus Star


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Stockholm attorney Rebecka Martinsson, still recovering from the bloodbath that ended Sun Storm (2006), gets a dose of the best possible medicine: another murdered pastor in a small town up north.

Long before she was clubbed to death and hung from the choir loft in her church in little Jukkasjärvi, it was obvious that Mildred Nilsson polarized her congregation. Stefan Wikström, the dean of the church council, made no secret of his wish to keep her and every other female priest out of his bailiwick. Torbjörn Ylitalo, the church forestry officer, resented the fact that she threatened to cancel the hunting club’s sweetheart lease on its church-owned lodge unless they accepted women as half of the club’s membership. And there was widespread opposition when she took up arms on behalf of a fund to protect Yellow Legs, a she-wolf that had wandered onto church lands. Even those who accepted Mildred, like her lover Lisa Stöckel, chair of the church’s Magdalena Society, had an uneasy relationship with her. So when she’s killed, there’s certainly enough mystery to engage two detectives: Inspector Anna-Maria Mella, just back from maternity leave, and Rebecka, who happens on the case en route to a remote cottage where she’s supposed to be resting. Instead, Rebecka takes a part-time job as a cleaner at Micke Kiviniemi’s bar and befriends Lisa’s cousin Lars-Gunnar Vinsa’s son Nalle, whose brain damage wrecked his parents’ marriage. Both the professional investigator and the reluctant amateur know that the Arctic midsummer, with the endless daylight that plays havoc with sleep rhythms, can be just as deadly as the deep winter. But neither one anticipates the violence that will follow Mildred’s murder.

A virtuoso mood piece that works endless changes on its unforgiving landscape.

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2007
ISBN: 0-385-33982-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2007


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