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After encountering the feisty Rebecka Martinsson in the fifth outing of this series and enjoying it immensely, it is interesting to see how ?sa Larsson's writing has acquired a certain polish as this series has progressed. At times I felt like the narrative in this first outing was a little awkward, the character of Rebecka Martinsson still carving out a role and personality for herself, whilst also being faced with the unenviable task of returning to a childhood home that she was effectively cast out of a decade previously. Memories are raw for Rebecka and as Larsson ventures more deeply into Martinsson's claustrophobic home it isn't hard to see why her hackles are quickly raised and her outward demeanour is so prickly. At times the translation appears somewhat clunky and the narrative occasionally jarring, but all in all this is a highly competent debut which sees a tax lawyer in Stockholm break out of her predetermined role to return to a home town where she has plenty of unfinished business.

The savage altar

  • Asa Larsson
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