Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Ice Princess

Title: The Ice Princess

Author: Camilla Lackberg

Number of pages: 393

Started: 7 July 2010

Finished: 14 July 2010

Opening words:

“ The house was desolate and empty. The cold penetrated every corner. A thin layer of ice had started to form in the bath tub. She had an eerie blue complexion. He thought she looked like a princess lying there. An Ice Princess. The floor he sat on was freezing cold, but it didn’t bother him. He stretched out his hand and touched her. The blood on her wrists had coagulated a long time ago. The love he felt for her had never been stronger. He caressed her arm, as he caressed the soul that had now left the body. He did not turn around when he left. This was not goodbye, they would meet again.”

Plot summary:

Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life. Erica conceives a memoir about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their lost friendship. While her interest grows to an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about the small town with a deeply disturbing past.

If you can read Swedish, Camilla Lackberg’s website is here.

To find out more about Scandinavian books and authors, you can visit Nordic Bookblog or Scandinavian Books.

What I thought:

I like to read books set in the country where I am on holiday, so I sought out some Swedish authors. It seems that the majority of Swedish authors who are translated into English are crime writers, including Camilla Lackberg. I read reviews of this book before I decided to read it, and they were mixed. So I wasn’t quite sure what I would make of this book. As it turned out, I thought it was pretty good. It was a decent plot and an easy read. It also had a (minor) theme in it that seems to occur in a number of books, domestic violence, and that makes me curious whether that tells us anything about the Swedes themselves. I certainly hope not.

My only obvious issue with this book was that it was set in a very cold and snowy winter in Sweden and when I was there it was very sunny, which made it slightly more difficult to feel the book was about he place where I was based at the time. But it was a good crime novel and I will be reading more of her books.

A small anecdote I liked about the author was that she became an author after her parents and husband signed her up to a writing course as a Christmas present. She went on to be Swedish Writer of the Year in 2005.

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