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The Black Path

(Rebecka Martinsson #3)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,629 ratings  ·  352 reviews
A grisly torture and murder, a haunting in northern Sweden, and a dark drama of twisted sexuality collide memorably in Larsson's tale of suspense - a story of menace, hope, longing, and darkness beyond imagining.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by MacLehose Press (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,629 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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When a book contains a detailed description of a work of art, and especially when it explains how the work was created, that's often a clue that the object in question is standing in for the book itself. In Cat's Cradle, Newt's ironic and deceptively simple painting is the focal point of the story. In A la recherche de temps perdu, Proust uses Elstir's canvases and Vinteuil's sonata to give you some indications about his overall plan. And in Kjærstad's Jonas Wergeland trilogy, the TV series Å Tenke Stort is so cl ...more
Aug 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, scandinavian
THE BLACK PATH is the sort of book that you need to read with your preconceptions and expectations firmly locked in a drawer. Having not read the second book in the series yet, I know something happened to Rebecka in that book, but the details aren't important to understanding, from the start of THE BLACK PATH, that she has been through a traumatic experience and she's struggling back into normal life.

But one thing you will find with THE BLACK PATH is that Rebecka, or Anna-Maria or a
The Black Path by Åsa Larsson is the third in her series of mysteries featuring Rebecka Martinsson and is a wonderful story. All the characters were vividly drawn and all the story arcs interesting. I never wanted it to be over, a feeling I rarely have as I rush from one book to another. And it did what few books ever do: it made me cry. And I still loved it.

The book begins with what seems to be the certain death of a man on the ice but rapidly changes course when he discovers the body of a wom
Kathy Davie
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Third in the Rebecka Martinsson mystery series set in the country in Sweden and revolving around a tax lawyer who cracked up.

The Black Path was nominated in 2009 for a Barry Award for Best Paperback Original.

My Take
Whoa, this one is CRITICAL. Read this. Try to read this as soon after The Blood Spilt , 2, as possible. It'll help with remembering as Larsson pulls events at the end of The Blood Spilt right in at the start of The Black Path. And do not skip ahead to Until Thy Wrath Be Past , 4, and The Se/>My/>The
A decent enough Swedish murder mystery spanning international business, African instability, and kittens. It starts as a simple police procedural, but the story goes much deeper -- and becomes much messier.

Larsson's characters all have thick backstories -- sometimes to the point of pointlessness and with a few requiring knowledge of her previous novels. It's nice to see intelligent, capable female leads (this book has two).

I balked at the use of psychic powers in one side character, though, an
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled a bit with this book. It seemed to be two books in one. A thriller with dodgy mining companies and a mystical theme with the sixth sense in the character of Ester. The main character has been traumatized by past experiences and while good at her job lacks self confidence in her personal life.

The plot revolves around the murder of a woman and the story is told on flashbacks. It was difficult to connect with the characters except perhaps Mella’s partner who liked cats. Northern Sweden
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this one shocked me! And I'm not easy to shock in this genre. I've read many Nordic noir by more than 10 different authors. And dozens and dozens of rather heavy /gritty for other more treacherous parts of the world as well. But this one was actually fairly hard to rate when all is done. It's like two different types of books in one. Not up until the 80% point (a clear 4 star) was it hard to rate, but after that point. The ending is/ was possibly the one that others might garner a 5 star en ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've become a big fan of Asa Larsson. I see no need to compare her to the likes of Karin Fossum, whom I also love to read. She can stand on her own merits.

Personally, I think that Black Path is excellent. I like all of the storylines and am not troubled by the fact that our heroine, Rebeka, isn't always the main focus of the book. I enjoy Anna-Maria Mella and her partner, Sven-Erik, tremendously, and I think that the back and forth of the different plots was skillfully handled and ve
Do not--I repeat--do not attempt to read this book if you are feeling even a tiny bit sad. Chapter after chapter of Bergmanesque neurosis, angst, violence, perversion, and sadism will have you heading directly into the nearest black bog. The ragged psyches of the many deftly drawn characters in this book range from a woman lawyer obsessing like a 13-year-old over an imagined romantic interest to a millionaire sociopath. Damn, don't these Swedes have therapists or clinical psychotropic drugs? Som ...more
Nadine Vansant
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So very good and well written, so many turns.. rather quite a number of murders... and complicated at times, but always good to read. Couldn't wait to finish the book and to know how it would end.... Now I do... and I couldn't possible know the end in advance, and that's what I really like. She leads you an highways and sideways but at the end... love it!!
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tops, 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Anna-Maria Mella, detective; Rebecka Martinsson, attorney
SETTING: Kiruna (north Sweden)
SERIES: #3 of 3

It's early spring, and the ice on the lake in Tornetrask, northern Sweden, is thick. The inhabitants of nearby Kiruna journey here to go ice fishing, setting up small cabins on runners called arks, which protect them as they fish. A powerful storm blows one of the arks away, and its owner scrambles into a nearby cabin to escape from the eleme
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The latest instalment in Asa Larsson's 'Rebecka Martinsson' series and to my mind, her best to date. Rebecka has seemingly made a full recovery from the horrific attack of the previous book and after her release from the psychiatric unit, finds herself embroiled in another murder investigation with the wonderful female detective Anna-Maria Mella. This is where Larsson excels in her characterisation that portrays Rebecka as an outwardly strong but essentially damaged woman and Anna-Maria, who wit ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Essentially this novel is about the corruption in a diverse multi-layered mining company. Also about the corruption in the governments which it deals with and less about solving the murder of Inna Wattrang. She was their expert at finding financing and investments for their projects. I found the way this author switched between time frames of the characters lives very jarring. Also there were way too many characters to keep track of and it seemed that this story was never going to come together. ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, translated
It is spring in northern Sweden, when a body is found hidden in a fishing ark, on the frozen lake of Torneträsk. She’s dressed for running, not for fishing in icy conditions, yet she’s wearing make-up. Whilst inspectors Mella and Stålnacke think it’s probably another case of a husband killing his wife, the soon realise she has been tortured. When Mella discovers a link between the dead woman and Kallis Mining, she asks newly appointed special prosecutor, Rebecka Martinsson, to help find out more ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
damn, she's good--each book, this is the 3rd, gets better and fascinating. im beginning to see a theme in mysteries, the greed and meanness of mining interests, esp first world in third world countries....same in shadow walker. plus some spirit world thrown in, a la colin cotteril. plus its the cold world of sweden!
Drayton Bird
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wiser heads than mine are probably puzzling as to why Scandinavia produces so many good crime writers.

Maybe they are just better educated: and informed about the world.

I often think so - but anyhow here is another cracker, with a character (and cast of characters) all its own.

I don't know about you but I love stories where I learn about cultures I know little or nothing about.

I liked this one enormously, partly because it's set in a part of Scandinavia I knew
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Asa Larsson's stories and style she uses, which is true about The Black Path but for the end. The plot is skillfully planned but I simply have problems with the political background of perp's economic interests. However, it's nothing new in Scandi crime fiction: in Jo Nesbo's Leopard and Henning Mankell's Kennedy's brain similar motifs can be found. Why is the Northerners relationship to Africa so strong? Guilty conscience that their life is much better than people's lives over there? Pro ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Love this series, even though I read them all out of order. Now read all of them and can't wait for a the next book. This one is grittier than the others with big business in the form of a shroud investor, turned mining company owner and his accomplices, but Larssen still inserts a lot of what makes this series so good, i.e. she tells you about this part of Sweden, it's people and their lives. Every book has a different aspect in this regard, really interesting and touching. Something tells me t ...more
Dark, dark, and beautiful. I will not summarize the plot - many others have, but it was complex ranging from mental illness to international corporations. I found Rebecka more emotionally captivating in this novel, and Inspector Anna-Maria Mella demonstrates her usual rough charm. I did feel emotionally drained by the time I finished reading, and may take some time before reading the fourth in the series.
Connie Wisniewski
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a first time Larsson reader, but I will surely will be reading more of her books. The Black Path was filled with great characters and many sub-plots. I would recommend this to all crime and thriller readers.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seven stars, not five!
Gail Thurston
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love a good Swedish drama! Last in the series, but left it open enough for another book. Characters are strong but so sensitive at the same time.
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The path to home.

Writing that will amaze and hold you. Simply and deeply descriptive. Inner and outer narrative creating a story of complex people. Police action. The past and present context of character's lives. Åsa Larsson has, in The Black Path: Rebecka Martinsson #3, written yet another superbly crafted crime novel.

The storyline follows Rebecka as she recovers from depression, and a psychotic break. She is a gifted tax lawyer who has returned to the frozen north of her home town, Kiruna, where life and cunovel.


Bonnie Brody
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asa Larsson knows how to get her readers sucked into a book. I picked this one up and had trouble putting it down until I was finished.

This thriller takes place in Sweden. A woman is found murdered in a lake house and it appears that she was tortured by electrocution and stabbed multiple times. Her name is Ina Wattring and she is the public relations officer for Kallis Mines, a multi-national mining company with ties to mines in conflict-laden African nations. Ina and her brother Didi both work
Judith Baller-Fabian
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Scandinavian Noîr
This is a book that real lovers of Scandinavian Noîr would like a lot. The author is a creative wordsmith and her writing is lovely, very lyrical. She literally "lives" her characters (all of them) so you become very familiar with each one. She also has an interesting way of switching from third to first person and it took me a while to figure it out, but she uses first person present when she's writing about one of the character's past. Once I figured it out, it made sense and it was here that ...more
Kerry Little
I am a long time fan of Scandi crime writers but only recently discovered Asa Larsson. The structure of this book was really interesting as it took you to the perspective of all the major characters, with equal weight given to each. This departure from knowing the action from the perspective of the key protagonists - in Larsson's books, a prosecutor, Rebecca Martinsson, and detective - Anna Maria Mella - slows the pace and gives depth and backstory to important characters and events that inform ...more
S. Lynham
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, it appears that not all of Larsson's books have yet been translated...this is the 3rd in a series (note that the first 2 were named the best Swedish crime novels of of 2003 and 2004) and it felt a bit strange to sort of fall into the story so late in the game but this was well-written, interesting and a pleasure to read...I would highly recommend her books....I feel kind of thoughtless for not recognising that millions of books are published every year in languages other than English and ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
The latest book in Asa Larsson's 'Rebecka Martinsson'. Rebecka seems to have made a slight recovery from the horrific attack of the previous book. After her release from the psychiatric unit, she finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation with female detective Anna-Maria Mella.
The characters in the book become fuller as we get to know them better.
There was a little too much info about Uganda, but other than that I loved the story :)
There are artists, mercenarie
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still enjoying the series. Hope not getting to far fetched. This one just slightly less good
David Sacof

Couldn't see motive or much point in the way the story developed but I believe the author is a lawyer. Lots of words.
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Åsa Larsson is a Swedish crime-writer. Although born in Uppsala, she was raised in Kiruna in the far north. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Larsson was a tax lawyer, a profession she shares with the heroine of her novels, Rebecka Martinsson.

* Rebecka Martinsson

Other books in the series

Rebecka Martinsson (5 books)
  • Sun Storm (Rebecka Martinsson, #1)
  • The Blood Spilt (Rebecka Martinsson, #2)
  • Until Thy Wrath be Past (Rebecka Martinsson, #4)
  • Till offer åt Molok (Rebecka Martinsson, #5)
“Do they really help? It’s just a few pictures in an album in your head, after all. In between those scenes you do remember there are hundreds, thousands, of scenes you’ve forgotten. So are you remembering the truth?” 0 likes
“And the feeling that washed over him was like the feeling you get when your new puppy pees in the house for the hundredth time. Exhaustion in the face of how crap everything is.” 0 likes
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