cover image The Blood Spilt

The Blood Spilt

Asa Larsson, , trans. from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. . Delacorte, $22 (339pp) ISBN 978-0-385-33982-7

Larsson's second novel (after 2006's Sun Storm ) takes a riveting look at religious mania, the practice of law in Sweden and crimes as dark and bloody as those in supposedly less progressive countries. Rebecka Martinsson, a tax attorney (as Larsson was before she turned to full-time writing) in Stockholm, had to perform some seriously bloody deeds in the town of Kiruna (Larsson's own birthplace) at the end of Sun Storm . Now she's back at work after some time to recover, and her large law firm is even using her hard-won notoriety for its own publicity. But when a female priest is savagely murdered in Kiruna, Rebecka interrupts her rehab to return there, to help solve a crime much like the one that caused her so much damage. Luckily, she also gets to work again with a sharp and sympathetic local female police inspector, who proves that not every Scandinavian cop or crime solver is a depressive. Fans of Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and Arnaldur Indridason will be rewarded. (Feb.)