Åsa Larsson is a markedly different writer from her fellow Swede Camilla Läckberg (discussed elsewhere on this site), with her notably cooler prose. Larsson’s 2003 novel The Savage Altar failed to make the expected impression in this country, but when Larsson was republished by MacLehose Press/Quercus (the publishers of the other Larsson, Stieg), much more attention was paid.
In Until Thy Wrath Be Past, corporate lawyer Rebecka Martinsson is working as a prosecutor in Kiruna when the spring thaw reveals the body of a woman in the river. Rebecka’s sleep has been troubled by a threatening, accusatory spectre. What do these dreams have to do with the dead woman? Rebecka becomes part of an investigation into the disappearance of a plane carrying supplies for the Wehrmacht in the 1940s, but there are those who believe that aspects of the country’s past must remain hidden – among them, a ruthless killer.
Top-selling Scandinavian writer Jo Nesbø’s work has featured a murderous ideologue – all too presciently. Until Thy Wrath be Past shows that Åsa Larsson is similarly ready to confront unpalatable truths about her society. Of the current batch of Nordic writers, the new Larsson will be one to be followed with the most minute attention.
Reviewed by Barry Forshaw
UNTIL THY WRATH BE PAST
Written by Åsa Larsson
Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson
Published by MacLehose Press (2008)
Barry Forshaw’s books include Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide, the Keating Award-winning Brit Noir and Nordic Noir. Other work: Death in a Cold Climate, Sex and Film and the British Crime Writing encyclopedia (also a Keating Award winner). He edits Crime Time (www.crimetime.co.uk).
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