A new Nordic talent

I was thrilled to stumble across Asa Larsson recently, a new name to me among the plethora of good quality Nordic crime-writers. Until thy wrath is past (2011) was her latest novel in a series featuring the prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson. Translated beautifully by Laurie Thompson (Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser), Wrath is a grim tale. Two young Swedes go on a winter dive in a frozen lake, and disappear. Some months later a nearby lake gives up the body of one of the divers, it appears to be an accident, but Martinsson isn't convinced....

Larsson may be Swedish, but this well constructed tale reminded me of some of my favourite Icelandic crime writers, notably Arnaldur Indridason, who likes to place his murders within an historical narrative, and Yrsa Sigurdardottir, whose novels often have a supernatural element. Until thy wrath is past has its roots set in Sweden's ambivalent history during the Second World War. There were some surprises for me here, not having realised that Sweden was not quite the neutral country it claimed to be. The supernatural elements that formed part of the novel sat slightly uneasily with the thrust of the narrative - very reminiscent of The lovely bones - but overall I felt that they worked and added an extra dimension to what was often quite a grim storyline.

I loved Rebecka Martinsson, and felt that the Kiruna setting was used effectively throughout the novel. All in all a great read for crime aficionados, will definitely be adding more Asa Larsson to my groaning bookshelves.


Popular Posts