The Blood Spilt
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It’s midsummer in Sweden—when the light lingers through dawn and a long, isolating winter finally comes to an end. In this magical time, a brutal killer has chosen to strike. A female priest—who made enemies and acolytes in equal number—has been found hanging in her church. And a big-city lawyer quite acquainted with death enters the scene as police and parishioners try to pick up the pieces....
Not long ago, attorney Rebecka Martinsson had to kill three men in order to stop an eerily similar murder spree—one that also involved a priest. Now she is back in Kiruna, the region of her birth, while a determined policewoman gnaws on the case and people who loved or loathed the victim mourn or revel in her demise. The further Rebecka is drawn into the mystery—a mystery that will soon take another victim—the more the dead woman’s world clutches her: a world of hurt and healing, sin and sexuality, and, above all, of sacrifice.
In prose that is both lyrical and visceral, Åsa Larsson has crafted a novel of pure entertainment, a taut, atmospheric mystery that will hold you in thrall until the last, unforgettable page is turned
From the Hardcover edition.
grass. Rebecka set off. The island looked tired after the summer. Well trodden, dried out, worn out. This is where they’ve walked, she thought. All the families with children, carrying their picnic blankets, all the well dressed, tipsy people from the boats. The grass was short and turning yellow. The trees dusty and thirsty. She could imagine what it would look like in the forest. No doubt there were heaps of bottles, cans, used condoms and human feces under the blueberry bushes and ferns.
I’m pleased, she said when she was alive. But you’re an adult, you choose your own life. Was that right? he thinks as so many times before. Is it all right to be so uncompromising? I lived her life, all the way. True, I made my own choice. But shouldn’t you meet halfway in love? She looks down at the table. He can’t start thinking about children again, because then she’s bound to disappear like a shadow through the wall. He’s got to pull himself together. He’s always had to pull himself
out there. And if I am there we talk about other things.” “Like what?” “Well, about putting fresh tar on the steps, about the red Falun paint, about her plans to replace all the putty round the windows. She works all the time. For a while she seemed to be obsessed by the compost.” The expression on Måns’ face encouraged him to go on. Interested, almost amused. Torsten Karlsson pushed his fingers through the black mop of hair on his head. “Well,” he said, “first of all she set about building.
He’d been met by Stefan’s wife, her eyes huge. “I was just about to call the police,” she’d said. First of all he’d borrowed the key to the church and run down there. There was no dead priest hanging from the organ loft. Sven-Erik had almost had to sit down on a pew, he was so relieved. He’d phoned in to the station and got people out checking the rest of the churches in town. Then he’d phoned Anna-Maria. “We need the numbers of your husband’s bank accounts—have you got those?” “What’s the
one of the papers wrote: “Police Admit: We Cannot Protect Them!” The Express offered advice to those who felt under threat: Make sure you’re always with somebody, change your normal routines, take a different route home from work, lock the door, don’t park next to a delivery van. It was a madman, of course. The sort who would just carry on until his luck ran out. Sven-Erik thinks about Manne. In a way, his disappearance was worse than if he’d died. You couldn’t grieve. You were just tormented by