A man’s thumb is found in the stomach of a bear. A few months later, a woman is violently murdered in her home. Police inspector Anna-Maria Mella and her team are befuddled when what is at first assumed to be a crime of passion turns out to have a much more complicated explanation. The dead woman’s orphan grandson deals with the trauma by pretending he is a wild dog and is cared for by police officer and dog-handler Krister Eriksson, who has fallen in love with prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson.
An incompetent and self-important colleague removes Rebecka Martinsson from the case, but she continues her rouge investigations with characteristic zeal. When she finds that a remarkable number of tragedies have befallen a single family, she wonders if perhaps they weren’t accidents after all?
Meanwhile, a parallel narrative set at beginning of the past century unfolds, featuring an affair between Kiruna city founder Hjalmar Lundbohm and a precocious schoolteacher named Elina. Past and present are woven together expertly as family intrigue and greed lead down a path to cold-blooded murder.
The Second Deadly Sin is the fifth book in the Rebecka Martinsson series and was named Best Swedish Crime Novel in 2012 by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy. It was nominated for the 2013 Glass Key Award.
“Larsson has us by the throat from her first paragraph…Electric.”
The Independent (UK)
“A terrific novel about greed, isolation and the deep human need for companionship.”
The Sunday Times (UK)
“Larsson excels at creating engaging, complex characters whose interactions and development provide as much forward momentum as the search for the killer.”
Publishers Weekly (US)
“The opening scene is magnificent.”
Svenska Dagbladet (SE)
“A terrific novel about greed, isolation, and the deep human need for companionship.”
The Sunday Times (UK)
“Asa Larsson has no need of horrendous detail, or ritual killings, nor indeed of a single tattoo. She is simply a very good writer. There is no doubt in my mind who is ‘the other Larsson’.”
The Irish Independent (UK)
“It is not the plots that make you love Åsa Larsson’s crime novels. […] Instead, it is the environment, the people, the language, and the underlying warmth.”
Dagens Nyheter (SE)
“Larsson is a master of horror, of character portraits, of local knowledge, and of authentic descriptions of place.”
Verdens Gang (NO)
“Ingenious to the last sentence. This thriller is highly literary – and so much better than anything other Scandinavian bestselling authors have done.”