Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Blood Split by Asa Larsson

The best part of this book was the setting— very northern Sweden. 

Rebecka Martinsson, a lawyer, had killed three people in order to save innocent lives. She is exonerated, yet is haunted by the deaths and is immobilized—unable to engage in her job and unable to partake in social relations.

She becomes involved in another crime when she accompanies a member of her firm to a small village. Several months before their visit a local female priest had been found hanging from the church rafter.

Larsson introduces a number of characters. The priest, Mildred Nisson, is both a crusader and a thorn in the side of the local hunters and many of the married men in the village. They hold her responsible for encouraging the women to push the boundaries set by men and stand up for themselves.

Larsson profiles Mildred's  lesbian relationship with a local woman. She writes about a retarded boy who brings pleasure to those who get to know him. There's also an assortment of quirky characters. Ah—there's also a story of a wolf.Too many of these characterizations feel like stereotypes.

While Larsson does a good job describing the setting, the characters seem to flounder from one situation to another. The plot meanders and suddenly everything is tied together and the murderer is revealed.

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