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Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

The Ice Princess is the first book in Swedish author Camilla Lackberg's series featuring writer Erica Falck and Police Detective Patrik Hedstrom.  It's a book that's been on my shelf for a long time, plus I had the audio version of it as well.  I started out listening to it and that worked fairly well.  However, I did not like the narrator's female voices too well - just something about them sounded icky.  I was also reading Under A Silent Moon at the same time.  Both books had a young blonde woman who was killed and I kept getting the details mixed up.  The victim in this book, Erica's childhood friend, Alex Wijkner, was found in an icy bathtub, an apparent suicide.  Note to self - don't read and also listen to two different police procedurals at the same time.  At least not two with similar looking victims.

OK, back to The Ice Princess.  I liked this book a lot.  The setting is Fjallabaka, a coastal Swedish fishing village.  Erica Falck is a writer of biographies about successful Swedish women.  She returns to her childhood home after the funeral of her parents, who have been killed in a car accident.  She's spending her time trying to work on her current book, which is overdue, and also sorting out her parents' possessions.  Not sure where her life is going and at odds with her younger sister, Anna, whose husband wants them to sell their parents' home, Erica gets involved in the investigation that another old friend, Patrik Hedstrom, is conducting into the death of Alex.

The seeds of some very old secrets are in the past and Erica tries to remember what she had heard whispered about as a young girl.  Mostly, she just recalls that her best friend, Alex, moved away suddenly and was never heard from again - at least by Erica.  The police in this area are a small group, headed by a man who was practically exiled from the larger force in an area city due to incompetence.  They don't have much experience with murder, but Patrik Hedstrom is persistent.  He knows that his boss is not worth much and will likely take credit for all the work.  Patrik is a good cop, plus he's so happy to see Erica again after such a long time.  Together these two find that there's been big problems in Fjallabaka for a long time.  Some sins eventually come back to haunt - what old crimes have been hidden and what would someone do to keep the events of the past quiet?

What is it about Scandinavian mysteries set in the wintertime?  I always end up feeling like I am freezing just from descriptions.  Brrr!  I should save these for August in Texas, always a mega-hot time.  I liked the setting, liked the characters, and look forward to finding more about Erica and Patrik.  Erica's sister's home situation is bad and I suspect that her awful brother-in-law will show up again to make life unpleasant.  There are people that Patrik works with that I'd like to know more about.  His boss is a terrible policeman, but he adds some humor to the narrative.  A little incompetence goes a long way, so hopefully, not a lot of time will be spent on him.

There are several more books in the series.  The next one is The Preacher.  I'll be on the lookout for that one soon.

16 comments:

  1. I think it's the long winter nights with so little daylight that makes for so many well respected Scandinavian mystery/crime writers. Too scary for my blood though!

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    1. This one wasn't scary, pretty tame actually. Know not everyone enjoys crime novels though. :-)

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  2. I am amazed at your reading! With regard to the last part of your review, I find more and more in television and book mysteries that I like the cops to be a team. I like them to just work on the case respecting and trusting one another. I just don't like to waste my time with dissension in the force. I know. Picky, picky. :<))

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    1. Not picky at all. Sometimes reading about people not getting along is exhausting. I do like a cohesive team too though. Think she is using the incompetent boss as a touch of humor. Not sure if he will stick around or if he'll be shuffled off to make another police station's life miserable. And I seem to get more reading done when I have an audiobook and a regular book going at the same time. But I have been moving right on through the books.

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  3. I've meaning to read this series for years! You're right--Scandinavian mysteries in winter wound perfect. I'm having blizzard envy right now, so perhaps I should pick this up!

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    1. So you're saying you want a blizzard? LOL

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  4. I do love a good Scandinavian mystery, and this one sounds good. I will have to add this one to my wish list.

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    1. It's not Stieg Larsson, but it's good.

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  5. I liked The Ice Princess, The Stonecutter, and The Stranger, but haven't read The Preacher or her more recent books. Thanks for reminding me that this is a series I enjoy and want to catch up on!

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    1. Well, if you have continued reading her after 3 of them, that is a good sign. I do remember that you don't care much about order of a series. :-)

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  6. I agree. No more Scandinavian books in winter! Too cold. August, yes.

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  7. Ah, nordic noir! Have to love it when it's 100 degrees during my summertime here. I actually did start this book from the library about a year or so ago, but didn't complete it. You make it sound like I'm missing out on something, so I will have to pick it back up and maybe continue the series, thanks.

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  8. I read this one a few years back and enjoyed it although I never have ended up reading more by this author. I hate when that happens :) I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this so much! And I love the winter settings...I'm weird like that! LOL!

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  9. I have the first 3 on audio, but just haven't chosen TIP yet. You have encouraged me. :)

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  10. Haha... I know what you mean, I love to read Scandinavian thrillers but should save those up for our hot summers instead! :)

    I read this one quite a while ago and it wasn't necessarily my favorite but I would definitely go back and check out more by the author. Lots of potential there.

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  11. It looks good but not good enough to start a new series right now :)

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!