Book review: #1 The Savage Altar, by Åsa Larsson

sun storm

Originally title: Solstorm

English translation: Uk- The Savage Altar, USA- Sun Storm

Publication date: Sweden 2003

English translation date: 2006

Details

On the floor of a church in northern Sweden, the body of a man lies mutilated and defiled–and in the night sky, the aurora borealis dances as the snow begins to fall….So begins Åsa Larsson’s spellbinding thriller, winner of Sweden’s Best First Crime Novel Award and an international literary sensation.

Rebecka Martinsson is heading home to Kiruna, the town she’d left in disgrace years before. A Stockholm attorney, Rebecka has a good reason to return: her friend Sanna, whose brother has been horrifically murdered in the revivalist church his charisma helped create. Beautiful and fragile, Sanna needs someone like Rebecka to remove the shadow of guilt that is engulfing her, to forestall an ambitious prosecutor and a dogged policewoman. But to help her friend, and to find the real killer of a man she once adored and is now not sure she ever knew, Rebecka must relive the darkness she left behind in Kiruna, delve into a sordid conspiracy of deceit, and confront a killer whose motives are dark, wrenching, and impossible to guess….

Review

I read this book, for the first time, a few years ago. By then, I was living in Romania, so, obviously, I read it translated in Romanian. The Romanian title was “Furtuna solara” which translated to English would be “Sun Storm”. When I moved to Ireland, I went to the bookstore and bought another book written by Åsa Larsson. I don’t know how you buy books, but sometimes I buy everything I see, without reading the description. And this was the case now. Without knowing, I bought the third book in Rebecka Martinsson series. 

To cut the story, I left the book on my To Be Read list and, months later, when I start reading it, I had the surprise of finding out that I was holding in my hands, the third book in a series. It’s not a secret that I love series, so I googled Rebecka Martinson Series and I ordered the first two books. So I could read it in order. 

the savage altar - asa larsson

Because the UK title is The Savage Altar, I had no idea that I was re-reading the same book I did a few years ago. I realized it only when I was at around page 80. But I kept reading it because I couldn’t remember everything, especially who was the killer. 

I can’t tell you my first impression about this book, and the second is not that good. I don’t know why, but it was so hard for me to focus my attention only at reading the book. I felt that the book was divided in two: interesting part and boring part. 

I guess, I felt this way because I re-read it or because it was Åsa’s first book. I don’t really know why. But I kept reading the book, even if I didn’t enjoy it very much. I hoped that the second book will be better (and it was). 

One of the pros that made me go ahead with this book was Rebecka’s life. She is a lawyer but she left me with the idea that her life is so sad and alone. So, I wanted to know more about her. 

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? 

Rate: 6.5

Film adaptation: Produced in 2007

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6 Comments

    1. I think that’s only because we don’t enjoy the book too much. Or maybe the book fails to capture our full attention. I feel that every writer becomes better with each written book. And that’s Asa Larsson’s case too. She becomes better with every book she wrote

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