The Second Deadly Sin
I really like this series featuring Rebecka Martinsson, and this latest addition does not disappoint.
Prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson and Inspector Anna-Maria Mella are once again on a case when Sol-Britt Uusitalo is found murdered and her grandson missing.
Rebecka's friend Krister Ericksson, a police dog handler, finds Marcus, but the boy is unable to provide information about what took place. Then Rebecka is side-lined by obnoxious fellow prosecutor, Car Von Post (the Pest).
Before Rebecka is removed from the case, information about the family tragedies is discovered: Sol-Britt's son was killed by a hit-and-run driver, her father was eaten by a bear, and her grandmother was murdered.
When Von Post takes over, he plans to use the case to enhance his career and wants a quick resolution. An angry Rebecka is fearful for Marcus, who may also be targeted by the killer. Angry, she may be, but even if she isn't on Sol-Britt's case, she can still investigate the unusual coincidence of so many unnatural deaths in the family.
What transpires is a division of narratives: one covers the current investigation, the other goes back to 1914. The novel moves back and forth between the two narratives, and Rebecka becomes convinced that the "past is prologue." I thought the two stories flowed well and served the purpose, even if the past narrative ended up seeming a bit contrived.
As usual in Larsson's novel, the plotting is skillful, the characters are well-developed, and the setting in the remote, frigid northern-most area of Sweden is beautifully depicted.
Inspite of being set in a small community, Larsson's books could never be called cozies--they have the Nordic darkness found in so many Scandinavian novels. The Second Deadly Sin was somewhat lighter than the previous novels in the series, and I think it is her best to date. It is encouraging to see a great series getting even better.
P.S. The section on Anna-Maria Meller and her family encapsulated the drama/comedy of life with kids and made me smile. I love the emotional support Anna-Maria's husband provides. I'm also half in love with poor Krister, the terribly disfigured and utterly kind dog handler, who is hopelessly in love with Rebecka.
Read in May; blog post scheduled for July 16.
Mystery. to be re-released in e-book format in Aug., 2014. Print version: 352 pages.