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The Black Path

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The Black Path

Rebecka Martinsson Series, Book 3
A grisly torture-murder, a haunting northern Sweden backdrop, and a dark drama of twisted sexuality collide memorably in Åsa Larsson's masterpiece of suspense--a tale of menace, hope, longing, and...
A grisly torture-murder, a haunting northern Sweden backdrop, and a dark drama of twisted sexuality collide memorably in Åsa Larsson's masterpiece of suspense--a tale of menace, hope, longing, and...
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Description-
  • A grisly torture-murder, a haunting northern Sweden backdrop, and a dark drama of twisted sexuality collide memorably in Åsa Larsson's masterpiece of suspense--a tale of menace, hope, longing, and darkness beyond imagining.

    The dead woman was found on a frozen lake, her body riddled with evidence of torture. Instantly, Inspector Anna-Maria Mella knows she needs help. Because the dead woman--found in workout clothes with lacy underwear beneath them--was a key player in a mining company whose tentacles reach across the globe. Anna-Maria needs a lawyer to help explain some things--and she knows one of the best.

    Attorney Rebecka Martinsson is desperate to get back to work, to feel alive again after a case that almost destroyed her. Soon Rebecka is prying into the affairs of the dead woman's boss, the founder of Kallis Mining, whose relationship with his star employee was both complex and ominous. But what Rebecka and Anna-Maria are about to uncover--a tangled drama of secrets, perversion, and criminality--will lay bare a tale as shocking as it is sad...about a man's obsession, a woman's lonely death, and a killer's cold, cold heart.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One An early spring evening, Torneträsk. The ice was thick, more than a meter. All along the lake, some seventy kilometers long, lay arks, small cabins on runners, four square meters in size. At this time of year the inhabitants of Kiruna made their pilgrimage up to Torneträsk. They came up on snowmobiles, towing the ark behind them.

    Inside the ark there was a hole in the floor. You drilled a hole through the thick ice. A plastic pipe linked the hole in the ice to the hole in the floor, and that prevented the icy wind from getting into the ark from below. And then you sat inside fishing through the hole in the ice.

    Leif Pudas was sitting in his ark in just his pants, fishing. It was eight-thirty in the evening. He'd cracked open a few beers, it was Saturday night after all. The Calor gas stove was hissing and whistling. It was lovely and warm, almost eighty degrees. And he'd caught some fish too, fifteen mountain char, only small, but still. And he'd saved a few sprats for his sister's cat.

    When it was time for a pee it felt like a kind of liberation, he was

    much too hot, it would be nice to get outside and cool down a bit. He pulled on his boots and clambered out into the cold and dark in just his pants.

    As soon as he opened the door, the wind seized hold of it.

    During the day it had been sunny and calm, with no wind. But in the mountains the weather changes constantly. Now the storm was tugging and snapping at the door like a rabid dog. One moment there was hardly any wind at all, it was as if it were lying there growling and gathering its strength, then it was pulling at the door for all it was worth. Would the hinges hold? Leif Pudas got hold of the door with both hands and closed it behind him. Maybe he should have put some clothes on. Oh, what the hell, it only took a minute to have a pee.

    The gusts of wind carried loose snow with them. Not soft, fine fresh snow, but sharp diamond slivers of compacted snow. It whirled across the ground like a white cat-o'-nine-tails, flaying his skin with a slow, evil rhythm.

    Leif Pudas ran around the ark to shelter from the wind and got ready to pee. He might be sheltered from the wind, but it was cold so far up north. His scrotum contracted to a rock-hard ball. But at least he managed to pee. He almost expected it to freeze on its way through the air. To be transformed into a yellow arc of ice.

    Just as he finished, he heard a kind of bellowing through the wind, and all of a sudden the ark was at his back. It almost knocked him over, and the next second it was gone.

    It took a little while for him to understand. The storm had taken the ark. He could see the window, the square of warm light in the darkness, traveling away from him.

    He ran a little way in the darkness, but now its mooring had come loose, the ark was gathering speed. He hadn't a chance of catching up with it, it was hurtling away on its runners.

    First of all he thought only about the ark. He'd built it himself of plywood, then insulated it and covered it with aluminum. Tomorrow morning when he found it, it would be firewood. All he could do was hope it didn't cause any damage. That could lead to difficulties.

    All of a sudden there came a powerful squall. It almost knocked him to the ground. Then he realized he was in danger. And he had all that beer inside him, it was as if his blood was just beneath the surface of the skin. If he didn't manage to get inside somewhere very soon, he'd freeze to death in no time.

    He looked around. It had to be at least a kilometer up to Abisko tourist station, he'd never make it, it was a question of minutes now. Where was the closest ark?...
About the Author-
  • Åsa Larsson was born in 1966; she grew up in Kiruna and now lives in Mariefred. She is a qualified lawyer and made her debut in 2003 with Sun Storm, which was awarded the Swedish Crime Writers' Association Prize for best debut novel. The sequel, The Blood Spilt, was chosen as Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2004. The books were an immediate success; they have been sold to ten countries, and are being launched in the United States; the film rights have been sold to Sandrew Metronome.

Reviews-
  • Washington Post "Asa Larsson is as deft at writing heart-stopping scenes ... as she is at getting inside the heads of characters."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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