Sun Storm by Åsa Larsson
Rebecka Martinsson is heading to her hometown in northern Sweden to help Sanna, an old–now estranged–friend, who found the body of her brother following his horrific murder. Rebecka, an attorney, left Kiruna years ago in disgrace and has not looked back. The author deftly weaves Rebecka’s back story with the events surrounding the murder investigation. At the center are three pastors of a cult religious group who have made a pact of silence and refuse to answer the questions of Rebecka or the doggedly persistent–and very pregnant –policewoman (reminiscent of FARGO). Each character is well-defined–from wispy, fragile Sanna, to the furtive Pastor Thomas. This dark and graphic tale may not appeal to some readers. But for those of us who may only visit this part of Sweden from the comfort of our easy chairs, the author has made the bitter cold and the northern lights (thus the title Sun Storm) come alive.