Sunday Salon: The Black Path, by Asa Larsson

TSSbadge3 If you like Scandinavian crime fiction, and in the main I do, you can be pretty sure you are in for a treat when a book from this notably introspective region has the title THE BLACK PATH. This novel is indeed superb: it is the third in the series featuring lawyer Rebecka Martinsson.
At the start of the book, Rebecka is again traumatised (as she was at the start of the second) by the climactic events of the previous novel. She is in a much worse state this time, being hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic for some months, then having to undertake outpatient therapy, then deciding to resign from her job in a major Stockholm law firm (partly, but not only, because she despairs of her boss, Mans, ever showing any interest in her). She takes a job as a prosecutor specialising in financial crime in Kiruna, the village where she was bought up and the main location of the previous two novels. Here, Rebecka can work in solitude to her heart's content, blanking out her sad childhood, her empty present life, and living in the only place where she feels at home – her grandmother's house (which she owns), sharing what little companionship she needs with her neighbour, the charming old Sivving, and his dog. Read the rest of my review here.

By the end of the novel, I was moved and exhausted. The author plans to write three more books in this series. The first (SUN STORM/THE SAVAGE ALTAR) won the Swedish Crime Writers' Association prize for best debut novel. The second (THE BLOOD SPILT) was Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2004. THE BLACK PATH is an even better book than the previous two, and is no doubt due to win its own accolades.

More Scandinavian crime fiction authors and reviews at Euro Crime.