“Crime stories are our version of sitting round a camp fire and telling tales. We enjoy being scared under safe circumstances. That’s why there’s no tradition of crime writing in countries that have wars.” – Camilla Lackberg
January, Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t manage to stop.By the time Detective Patrik Hedström receives word of the accident, the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it’s likely she’s not the only one.Meanwhile, Patrik’s wife, crime writer Erica Falck, is looking into an old case – a family tragedy that led to a man’s death. His wife was convicted of murder, but Erica senses that something isn’t right. What is the woman hiding? As Erica digs deeper, the past starts to cast a shadow over the present and Patrik is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light.
Imagine my delight when The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg appeared in my letter box! It is the ninth book in the series from my favourite crime writer and this one didn’t disappoint! For the first time I actually googled the little fishing town of Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden! It is hard to believe that Lackberg can envision so many awful crimes occurring in such a lovely little town! As usual, the crimes in this book were quite vicious and it reminded me why I haven’t read a crime book in such a long time! There are so many crime writers emerging from Sweden; it must be incredibly hard for them to break through! I have read many, many crime authors including several Swedish ones and yet Lackberg’s books have remained at the top of my favourites list!
Detective Patrik Hedström and his wife/ true-crime writer Erica Falck return in this chilling story about a young girl who turns up after having been missing for the previous four months. The extent of brutality she has been subject to is quickly identified and the police acknowledge the possibility of her not being the only one. Simultaneously, Erika is looking into an old case for her latest book however she feels as though something isn’t quite right. How could one man’s death many years ago be linked to the missing girls? Her intuition (and impulsiveness) lands her in the middle of her husband’s investigation and forces Patrik to look at his case in a different light.
There are so many things to love about Lackberg’s books but the thing I enjoy the most is the way she writes and the way she paces her stories. Within each chapter, there are usually multiple perspectives and plot lines happening at the same time and as the story progresses, the chapters pass by with great speed. Lackberg maintains intensity and interest the whole way through the book. However, in saying this, she makes the reader work really hard. The multiple plot lines can be hard to follow at times and I suspect this is her way of keeping the reader on their toes… and to hide the killer until the very last minute!
As mentioned in my review of The Ice Princess (review http://wp.me/p4G9hc-bX), I love the way she juxtaposes the idea of home and ‘normality’ against the various violent crimes. I struggle to read crime books because of the levels of violence however Lackberg maintains the lives of Patrik and Erika and their families/ colleagues. She shows how life goes on – houses need cleaning, families need feeding and relationships need nurturing – all while the crimes occur. I really love the way she pieces them all together. If you’re a fan of crime, I can definitely recommend this series!
AUTHOR: Camilla Lackberg
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Publishers Australia
PUB DATE: 1 April 2016
Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!