Review: The Black Path by Åsa Larsson


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Original title: Svart stig, 2006. MacLehose Press, 2012. 400 pages. Uncorrected Proof Copy. ISBN 978-085-705-2209.

The Black Path is the third book about Rebecka Martinsson and police officers Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stålnacke. After the traumatic events narrated at the end of the previous book, The Blood Spilt, the reader learns, from the case notes, that the patient Rebecka Martinsson has responded well to the treatment and has been able to return to Kurravaara, a village outside Kiruna, where she grew up. However she must keep in touch with the clinic in Kiruna to continue her medication. Then in June 2004 Chief Prosecutor Björnfot, in need of someone who knows about financial crimes, offers her a job as special prosecutor in Kiruna. 

One day in March 2005, in a fishing ark on the ice near Torneträsk, a frozen body of a woman has been found. She had been brutally tortured and has a strange burn around her ankle, but the killing blow was clumsy, almost amateur. The body was soon identified as Inna Wattrang, a top executive of Kallis Mining with interests all over the world. Anna-Maria Mella and Sven-Erik Stålnacke will be involved in an intricate investigation that will reach up to Diddi Watrang, the victim’s brother, and Mauri Kallis, the owner of Kallis Mining, one of Sweden’s leading corporations.

I think it’s pretty impressive the way Larsson has been able to gather all the different plots and subplots to be found in this book in a single story that I will not hesitate to describe as extremely attractive. I think it is able to exert a certain spell on its readers, at least I’ve felt it that way. Larsson undoubtedly avoids formulas that could be found in her first two novels. But perhaps the story suffers from an excessive number of characters whose stories are presented through multiple flashbacks. And the end result may not be entirely satisfactory. I must admit that more than once I lost track and I had to reread some pages. But anyway, this is a book worth reading. I would like to thank Sarah at Crime Pieces for sending me an ARC of this book.

My rating: 4/5.

The Black Path has been reviewed by Maxine at Euro Crime, Laura Root at Euro Crime, Sarah at Crime Pieces, Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, Glenn at International Noir Fiction, Keishon at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog, Norman at Crime Scraps Review


La senda oscura de Åsa Larsson

La senda oscura es el tercer libro acerca de Rebecka Martinsson y de los agentes de policía Anna-Maria Mella, y Sven-Erik Stålnacke. Después de los acontecimientos narrados al finalizar el libro anterior, Sangre derramada, el lector se entera, a partir de las notas del caso, que la paciente Rebecka Martinsson ha respondido bien al tratamiento y en noviembre de 2003 ha podido regresar a Kurravaara, un pueblo en las afueras de Kiruna, donde se crió. Sin embargo debe mantenerse en contacto con la clínica en Kiruna para continuar con su medicación. Y en junio de 2004 el Fiscal Jefe Björnfot, en la necesidad de alguien que sepa de delitos financieros, le ofrece un trabajo como fiscal especial en Kiruna.

Un día de marzo de 2005, en un cabaña de pesca sobre hielo cerca de Torneträsk, se ha encontrado un cuerpo congelado de mujer. Había sido brutalmente torturada y tiene una quemadura extraña alrededor de su tobillo, pero el golpe que le causó la muerte era torpe, casi amateur. El cuerpo fue identificado pronto como Inna Wattrang, una importante ejecutiva de la compañía minera Kallis con intereses en todo el mundo. Anna-Maria Mella y Sven-Erik Stålnacke se verán involucrados en una investigación intrincada que llegará hasta Diddi Watrang, el hermano de la víctima, y Mauri Kallis, el dueño de la Minera Kallis, una de las principales empresas de Suecia.

Creo que es bastante impresionante la manera como Larsson ha sido capaz de reunir todas las diferentes tramas y subtramas que se pueden encontrar en este libro en una única historia que no voy a dudar en calificar de tremendamente atractiva. Creo que es capaz de ejercer un cierto hechizo en sus lectores, por lo menos yo lo he sentido así. Sin duda Larsson evita fórmulas que se podían encontrar en sus dos primeras novelas. Pero adolece quizá de un exceso de personajes cuyas historias se presentan a través de múltiples flashbacks. Y el resultado final puede no ser completamente satisfactorio. Debo admitir que más de una vez me he perdido y tuve que volver a leer algunas páginas. Pero de todos modos, se trata de un libro que vale la pena leer. Me gustaría agradecer a Sarah por haberme enviado un ejemplar ARC de este libro.

Mi calificación: 4/5.

Planeta de libros

7 thoughts on “Review: The Black Path by Åsa Larsson

  1. Glad you enjoyed the book Jose. I agree about the excessive use of the flashback. I also thought the ending was a bit OTT for me. But still an enjoyable read.

  2. José Ignacio – Thanks as ever for this excellent review. I’m very glad you enjoyed this, but then, I am biased. I like this series very much. The ending was a bit much I agree, but I think Larsson writes such terrific characters and weaves their stories together quite effectively. So I can forgive a few things. 😉

  3. Glad you liked this book, Jose Ignacio. I thought the actual crime plot was slightly obvious but I really loved the Sami sections towards the end, and the story of the girl and her family (most of which I’ve forgotten in detail now as it is so long since I read the book, but the haunting quality remains with me).

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