Before Stieg Larsson, there was Asa Larsson..."The Savage Altar" is a truly absorbing, atmospheric and fast-paced thriller featuring lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, a fantastic character in the mould of "The Silence of the Lambs"' Clarice Starling. A church in the glittering frozen wastes of northern Sweden. Inside, a sacrifice: the body of a man - slashed to pieces, hands severed, eyes gouged out. The victim's sister, Sanna, is first to discover the body and immediately finds herself the police's only suspect. Terrified and confused, she calls on a friend: got-shot city lawyer Rebecka Martinsson. Rebecka hardly wants to return to Kiruna - the small town she fled in disgrace years ago. But Sanna is frightened and she needs a loyal friend to clear her name. Someone not scared to dig deep and find the true killer. Yet Rebecka is not especially welcomed into the closed-lipped community. She might know the town, the people and how suspicious they can be of strangers but she has still to find out how dark the town's secrets have become in her absence. "A chilling plot knee-deep in blood-spattered snow". (Jim Kelly). "A labyrinthine conspiracy, superlative storytelling". ("Independent"). "A nail biting, suspense-filled mystery". ("Sunday Telegraph"). Asa Larsson was born in 1966 and lives in Sweden. Her second novel, "The Blood Spilt", is available from Penguin now and she is the winner of Sweden's best first crime novel award.