Friday, May 29, 2015

The Ice Princess - by Camilla Läckberg


My rating:

I don't remember exactly how I heard about this book, but it had been on my to-read list for quite some time when I finally got it from the library (as an audiobook). Läckberg's first novel introduces us to Erica Falck, a writer who has recently returned to her hometown of Fjallbacka to take care of things after her parents death. Coincidentally, her childhood friend, Alex Wijkner, is found dead while Erica is in town and Alex's parents ask Erica to write a memoir about their daughter. This inspires Erica to look into the details of her friend's life as well as her death, which turns out to be a murder. Along the way, Erica becomes close with another acquaintance from her childhood in Fjallbacka, Patrik Hedstrom. Patrik is now working as a detective for the local police and he and Erica begin to collaborate, at least somewhat, on theories about Alex's murder. Together, the two begin to unravel the secrets of Alex's life as well as the secrets of many others in Fjallbacka. In a small, tight-knit town, it starts to seem like everyone has some relation to the murder.

I really enjoyed this book, although having it as an audiobook meant it took me a little time to get used to the pronunciation of all the Swedish names and towns. Like her character Erica, it seems like Läckberg is interested not only in writing a murder mystery but also looking at the psychological motivations behind people's actions. We get to see not only the motivations for actions directly related to the murder, but just the general thoughts of several characters. Some people might find this tedious, but I really didn't mind. The characters weren't always the most exciting, but seeing their very mundane or even shallow preoccupations made them seem like very normal people to me. My main pet peeve was that Läckberg would often have a character, usually Erica or Patrik, discover an important clue, but not disclose it to the reader. This did make for more suspense, but meant that at times it was almost impossible to even attempt to work out the mystery. I would definitely still recommend this book, though, and I will definitely be reading more from Läckberg.

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