Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson

The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson
First published in Swedish in Sweden as Till offer at Molok by Albert Bonniers Forlag in 2012. English language translation by Laurie Thompson published by MacLehose Press in 2014.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

392 pages towards Olivia's fun August Reading Challenge to read an average of 50 pages each day throughout the month. Total = 2159 pages.

How I got this book:
Borrowed the paperback from my OH

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Amazon US / Amazon UK

Dawn breaks in a forest in northern Sweden. Villagers gather to dispatch a rampaging bear. When the beast is brought to ground they are horrified to find the remains of a human hand inside its stomach.
In nearby Kiruna a woman is found murdered in her bed, her body a patchwork of vicious wounds, the word WHORE scrawled across the wall. Her grandson Marcus, already an orphan, is nowhere to be seen.
Grasping for clues, Rebecka Martinsson begins to delve into the victim's tragic family history. But with doubts over her mental health still lingering, she is ousted from the case by an arrogant and ambitious young prosecutor.
Before long a chance lead draws Martinsson back into the thick of the action and her legendary courage is put to the test once more.

This is my second Rebecka Martinsson novel although it is the fifth in the series. Reading out of order wasn't a problem though because, other than a few minor nods to previous cases, The Second Deadly Sin is an entirely self-contained story and a thrilling one at that. Larsson grabbed my attention from the first pages and hardly let up until the end. I love that she manages to firmly ground her writing in her northern Sweden locations, bringing the people and landscapes chillingly to life without sacrificing tension or the exciting pace. Everywhere felt so beautiful that I now want to visit this part of the world - except for the high murder rate of course, but I suspect it's not quite as dangerous there in reality!

Larsson's breathless ride meant I could easily suspend as much disbelief as was necessary - these aren't novels to be over-analysed - and I appreciated the intertwined storylines. The historical Elina allows us to look back to 1910s Sweden and compare lifestyles then with their equivalents a century later. The strong character portrayals are always interesting and, of course, Larsson's women are always far more than decorative ornamentation or semi-clad murder victims which is refreshing for the crime fiction genre. I think my OH has already bought at least two more books in the Rebecka Martinsson series and I look forward to devouring them!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Asa Larsson / Crime fiction / Books from Sweden


  1. You have totally smashed through this challenge and owned it! I am so happy to see that update. And it seems like you don't mind jumping into series every now and again ;)