The Second Deadly Sin
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.
In Larsson's compelling fifth Rebecka Martinsson thriller (after 2011's Until Thy Wrath Be Past), the prosecutor travels to the far north of Sweden to investigate a murder victim's troubling family history. Before Sol-Britt Uusitalo was stabbed to death, her son was killed in an unsolved hit-and-run, and her father's remains were discovered inside a slain bear. The century-old murder of Sol-Britt's grandmother in Kiruna, an iron mining town, also remains unsolved. Rebecka, sidelined by a conniving colleague, looks into the earlier deaths for a motive as the official investigation focuses more narrowly on Sol-Britt's case. The murderer stalks the woman's seven-year-old grandson, Marcus. Larsson excels at creating engaging, complex characters whose interactions and development provide as much forward momentum as the search for the killer. The settingalternates between the present and WWI-era Kiruna, with uneven pacing and a few holes. Depictions of brutality are unflinching, and readers should be prepared for scenes of animal cruelty.