Reseña: Sangre Derramada (The Blood Spilt) – Åsa Larsson


This post is bilingual, scroll down to find the English language version

Título original: Det blod som spillts, 2004. Traducción del sueco por Mayte Giménez y Pontus Sánchez Giménez, 2010. Editorial Seix Barral, 2010. Mi edición Booket, 2011. 462 páginas. ISBN: 978-84-322-5089-7.

Dieciocho meses después, Rebecka Martinsson aún no se ha recuperado del trauma sufrido como consecuencia de los acontecimientos narrados en Aurora Boreal, el primero de los libros de esta serie. Rebecka ha regresado a Estocolmo, pero todavía está de baja por enfermedad en el bufete de abogados en donde trabaja. Un socio senior le pide que vaya con él a Kiruna en un viaje de negocios, para vender sus servicios legales a la congregación local de la Iglesia de Suecia. Tal vez esto le pueda ayudar a Rebecka a superar sus propios miedos y fantasmas interiores.

Mientras tanto, en Kiruna, los inspectores Anna Maria Mella y Sven-Erik Stålnacke están teniendo dificultades con un caso de asesinato que se encuentra en un punto muerto. Mildread Nilsson fue encontrada muerta con signos evidentes de haber sido torturada en su propia iglesia en Jukkasjärvi. Mildread era una ministra de la iglesia muy controvertida, una feminista convencida y una defensora de los derechos de los animales. No se descarta que este caso pueda ser una copia repetida del asesinato de Víctor Strandgård (ver Aurora Boreal).

Con estos ingredientes Asa Larsson nos presenta una novela que, cuando se desarrolla, es completamente diferente a su libro anterior, a pesar de algunas similitudes. Particularmente me ha gustado mucho, a pesar de que tiene algunos defectos obvios, pero sin duda es una lectura entretenida. La vida en una comunidad aislada, los conflictos entre hombres y mujeres, entre la vida urbana y la vida en el campo, el lesbianismo y la homosexualidad, la lucha entre conservacionistas y cazadores, etc. son algunos de los temas que saldrán a relucir a lo largo de sus páginas. La historia está bien contada, con continuos cambios de puntos de vista y saltos en el tiempo. El lector se puede perder de vez en cuando, pero vale la pena el esfuerzo, en mi opinión. La traducción española quizá no es tan buena, pero no puedo leer el sueco para defender mi punto de vista. Lo que me gustó menos fue la historia de la loba, al final de cada capítulo. De todas formas estoy interesado en ver dónde nos lleva Asa Larsson a continuación y espero leer La senda oscura.

Mi valoración: 4/5.

Ver la reseña de Diego Giménez en Revista de Letras,

Booket


Review: The Blood Spilt – Åsa Larsson

Eighteen months later, Rebecka Martinsson has not yet recovered from the trauma suffered as a result of the events in Sun Storm (The Savage Altar in the UK), the first book in this series. Rebecka has returned back to Stockholm but she’s still on sick leave at the law firm where she works. A senior partner asks her to go with him to Kiruna on a business trip, to sell their legal services to the local congregation of the Church of Sweden. Maybe this can help Rebecka to overcome her own fears and inner ghosts.

Meanwhile in Kiruna, inspectors Anna Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stålnacke are struggling with a murder case that is at a standstill. Mildread Nilsson was found dead with signs of having been tortured in her own church in Jukkasjärvi. Mildread was a controversial minister of the church, a convinced feminist and an advocate for animal rights. It was not ruled out that this case could be a carbon copy of Victor Strandgård’s murder (see The Savage Altar).

With these ingredients Åsa Larsson presents a novel that, when it unfolds, it’s entirely different from her previous book, despite some similarities. Particularly I enjoyed it very much, despite some obvious flaws, but it’s certainly an entertaining read. Life in an isolated community, conflicts between men and women, between urban life and country life, lesbianism and homosexuality, the struggle between conservationists and hunters, etc.. are some of the issues that will surface throughout its pages. The story is well told, with continuous changes of points of view and jumps in time. The reader may be lost occasionally, but it’s worth the effort in my opinion. The Spanish translation is perhaps not that good, but I can’t read Swedish to sustain my view. What I liked less was the story of the she-wolf at the end of each chapter. Anyway I’m interested to see where does Asa Larsson takes us next and I look forward to The Black Path.   

My rating: 4/5.

The Blood Spilt has been reviewed by Maxine at Euro Crime, Fiona Walker at Euro Crime, by Keishon at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog, at Reviewing the evidence, Bernadette at Goodreads,     

Random House

Penguin Books

SinC25 Åsa Larsson,#4 post of expert chanllenge by Maxine at Petrona

9 thoughts on “Reseña: Sangre Derramada (The Blood Spilt) – Åsa Larsson

  1. José Ignacio – Thank you for a fine review. I am quite a fan of Åsa Larsson and this series, so I am glad to hear that you liked this novel. You point out quite well the appeal of the setting and the small community and I agree that there is a theme of men/women issues. Besides those elements, one thing that appeals to me is the way Larsson depicts Martinsson’s process of healing from what happened at the end of Sun Storm(AKA The Savage Altar). Martinsson is not a superhero and I like the fact that Larsson is honest about the trauma that she has faced. There are other things I like about this series, too. I think you will like The Black Path; well, I hope you will.

    1. Thank you Margot. I guess there are several aspects that I haven’t mentioned in my brief review, but there are other interesting elements in this novel as well.

  2. So glad you enjoyed this one! I must slightly disagree with Margot about The Black Path. I thought that her weakest book in the series. She’s back in fine form with her last one though. I skipped/skimmed most of the she-wolf story which was supposed to be some parable about Martinsson. It really didn’t add much to the story.

  3. Nice review, Jose Igancio. I rather liked the chapters about the wolf, whose story mirrors Rebecka’s in the book. Asa Larsson always includes an apparently mystical element to her books, or at least in the ones I have read (in English).

    I’m with Margot on The Black Path, I liked it a lot, though the crime element was not the strongest. I liked the allegory in that one, too.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, Maxine. I like less that mystical elements, but it maybe just a matter of different taste or sensibility I presume.

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