It's midsummer, when the light lingers through dawn as the long winter finally ends. In this magical time, a brutal killer strikes, and the murder of a female priest sends shock waves through the community. Though she has no cause to get involved, attorney Rebecka Martinsson cannot help herself. And the further she is drawn into a mystery that will soon claim another victim, the more the dead woman's world consumes her - a world of hurt and healing, sin and sexuality, and above all, of lethal sacrifice.
Translated by Marlaine Delargy.
Text copyright ©2004 Asa Larsson, translation copyright ©2007 The Bantam Dell Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A virtuoso mood piece that works endless changes on its unforgiving landscape." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Fans of Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum, and Arnaldur Indridason will be rewarded." (Publishers Weekly)
"Larsson...delivers plenty of suspense, but her real gift lies in her ability to climb inside the minds of her characters, analyzing their motivations for doing damage and good." (Booklist)
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
This book ranks up there with Stig Larsson, Henning Mankill and Per Wahloo. I felt like I was experiencing what life might be like in Ms Larsson's village in northern Sweden. I hope Audible will offer Ms. Larsson's second book soon.
Not the Asa Larsson's best work but still enjoyable if it weren't for the narrator. This narrator only has two character voices: whiny teenager (even when the characters are elderly) and apathetic monotone. The most annoying thing, however, is the strong American accent, especially when she is trying to imitate a "rural" accent. I certainly don't expect a Swedish accent but a more neutral accent would have been better than and imitation of the US deep south.
I have listened to other Asa Larsson books and really enjoyed them, but I was really disappointed by this one. The story was interesting, but the narration ruined it for me. The story was obviously translated by a Brit, based on the language and dialect used, but the narrator was about as American as they come, and used an almost southern accent at times for these Scandinavian characters. It sounded ridiculous, and detracted from the typical darkness that this genre usually conveys. I noticed that the narrator is also the producer of this audio book, so I'm assuming she made the decision to narrate herself, and it was not a good one.
The story gave enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. The side story with the wolf was really distracting and did nothing to further the story.
The other side stories added to the story and gave all the usual possibilities for motives. Greed, sex, jealousy etc. they were all credible, so it kept u on ur toes.
If life were easy, I would't learn anything.
After listening to books by Indridason, Nesser, and Lackberg, this murder mystery was pure pleasure because it simply flowed along and carried me away. The narrator has a most pleasant and melodious voice and the names of the characters were much easier on the ear. Translation was exceptional but for "picnic blanket" instead of "picnic basket" early on. Providing narration of the main non human character provided an interesting plot turn that has given me a lot to ponder. I hated for the book to end and I was left wanting more of Rebecca--her life before this story and afterward.. A really good read!
I chose this book for its unique northern Scandinavian setting, and I felt like I got a glimpse of what life would be like in a small town there. There was a lot of hunting, berry picking, and wolves - very interesting! I liked learning the names of the towns and picturing the landscape. It was also interesting to see the role that the church plays in the town.
The story itself was a little anticlimactic. It was a bit depressing as well, and focused more on overall life issues than the mystery itself. Maybe it was supposed to reflect real life rather than try to be an exciting story. There were some twists and turns like any mystery, but there weren't any parts where I was truly surprised or shocked. So, it was okay but not great. I did finish it through - once I got involved with all of the characters, about halfway through the book, I got more into it and wanted to know what happened.
Also, this seems to be a book written by a women, for women. It dealt with a lot of women's issues, such as women in the church, women in the workplace, etc. I would say that was overall a very strong theme that was reflected in the metaphor of the female wolf that was described here and there throughout the book. I am a woman but at times this theme was a little too much for me, and I couldn't relate to any of the women characters in this book. I have much more enjoyed reading about the thoughts, quirks, and personal issues of other mystery/detective genre characters such as Kurt Wallander and Lizbeth Salander.
I did not like the flowery and dramatic language and descriptions. There were too many metaphors used to describe feelings or visual scenes. Sometimes I just want to know what's going on and the descriptions don't have to be so decorative to be effective. There are other mystery writers out there who manage to convey a feeling perfectly without all of that fluffiness.
I am not sure about that. Now that I am used to her voice, I might say yes, but at first I would have said no. When I first started the audio book, I have to admit, I thought the narrator was bad. Her voice monotone - it's like all of the sentences follow the same melodic pattern and there is no variation in emphasis. The change in voices for characters was just okay. There are other narrators who do this much better. I had to get past the voice and try to listen to the story only, which was difficult at first, but halfway though the book, I got used to it and I didn't notice it any more.
Also, maybe she has a Swedish or other type of accent, I don't know, but for some of the words that begin with "s", they sound like they are beginning with a "th" which made it kind of confusing to process the words when I'm listening to them - I had to think twice about it. But again, this is something I got more used to as the book went on.
I feel like the story was wrapped up pretty completely, except there is one thing that I never found out. It's something that happened in the main character's past that is mentioned several times, but we never really find out the details. Some of it comes out at the end but it's not really clear. I think there could be another book that goes more deeply into the personality of this main character, and into her past. Sometimes it takes several books for a reader to get to know and love a character and all of his or her little quirks.
I hate to be so negative about this book because I really did want to finish it (and I did), and the story and setting has really stuck with me. It was actually a very memorable book because it was so unique. I would recommend it, but just go into it knowing that it is very different than some of the other Swedish crime novels you may be into, such as the Kurt Wallander mysteries.
I enjoyed hearing the narrator saying all of the Swedish words since I come from a Swedish background; however the story has some detail that could easily be left out and the book remain the same. 3/4 of the way through I wanted to be done already.
Asa Larsson's first book was wonderful in every way! Loved it. This book falls way short in every way. The narration is very poor, the plot meanders all over the place. Not even the title makes any sense. In between chapters on the murder plot is inserted a sub-story on wolves (which is interesting, except how is it supposed to connect to the story?).Maybe I missed the point because I kept falling asleep. I ignored some of the reviews on this. But her first book in the series was so good, I couldn't imagine this one wouldn't have some merit.
good story, wish I could find the first in this series. not a fan of this narrator, who often comes across with a very whiney voice
I'm only 2 hours in, and not sure if I'll finish this book. The reader couldn't be more wrong: American at its worst. Sort of casual, no sense of Scandinavia, no differentiation of characters, no differentiation of anything! I will return to this review if I do finish the book, as this probably isn't fair to the book.
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