A stunning book, beautifully written, that takes us from Stockholm, where Rebecka Martinsson works long hours in a soulless law office on tax cases, to Kiruna in the arctic north, where a man Rebecka once knew has been murdered ritualistically in a church. His sister, a childhood friend of Rebecka’s, is the prime suspect. The massive church, built to house a revivalist, fundamentalist sect called The Source of All Our Strength, has three shifty pastors who aren’t cooperating with the investigation. Rebecka, who takes on the defense, finds herself allied with a very pregnant police detective, because both of them want to find the truth. The book has wonderful characters, a twisty plot, and a tremendous sense of place. I was particularly pleased that the cultishness of the religion wasn’t overemphasized; the role of the mega-church in the life of the community sheds an interesting light on religion in Swedish society. Though the ending was a bit over the top, it’s all in all a fairly breathtaking performance – presented in a lucid, elegant translation. I’ll certainly be reading more by this author.
Asa Larsson, Sun Storm