No. 1 international bestseller and Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg’s new psychological thriller – irresistible for fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.
On a late summer’s night, a young woman jumps in her car, her hands slippery with blood on the steering wheel. Taking her five-year-old son, Nathalie flees to the only safe haven she knows: the island of Gråskär off the coast of Fjällbacka…
Meanwhile, Detective Patrik Hedström has barely stepped foot inside his office following a lengthy sick leave before he catches a murder investigation.
A man has been murdered in his home: the victim, Mats Sverin, was the council’s financial director, heading up a regeneration project worth millions. But when Patrik and his team start digging into the dead man’s life, all they can uncover is unanswered questions. Why was Mats in such a rush to return to his home town of Fjällbacka after years in Gothenburg? And is it pure coincidence that Mats’s childhood sweetheart Nathalie has also suddenly returned to the area? Mats visited Nathalie on Gråskär before his death.
The locals call the island ‘The Ghost Isle’ – they say that it’s haunted, and that the dead have something to tell the living. But will anyone get close enough to uncover the dark secrets that lurk there?
©2013 Camilla Lackberg (P)2013 Harper Collins Publishers Ltd
I wonder if the translation to English lost much of the impact. I found the constant use of common similes and metaphors childish and infuriating.
The story itself was gripping - but I struggled to continue listening as the writing constantly annoyed me.
I also did not like the narration - the tone varied between condescending and pathetic - not enough variation for other compex characters again - most annoying
The relationship between the "now" and "then" - which had me trying to work out the connection.
Re reference to parts already told. Did the writer think I couldn't remember?
The Super - time he went!
"Not her best"
This one has all Lackberg's strangely compelling, page-turning feel to it (this translates well into audiobook - one does want to keep listening). Her writing is not always very literary and can seem clumsy at times, but it seems sincere, as though she really has something to say, and therefore holds the attention. The reading is very good.
There is a modern murder (grim), a historical disappearance (also fairly grim), and a modern family drama (unremittingly tragic). There are some other sub-plots as well, and none of those is a barrel of laughs. Lackberg keeps the attention well focussed on all these as the story rolls along, and I did much enjoy the company of the detectives bumbling through the case as they unfold the modern mysteries.
Two big problems for me (1) the modern mystery is just too obvious, I had it very early on, and after a long listen the denouement did not add much (unlike her other books) (2) it was all way too depressing, and pretty much every one of the interwoven stories started and ended glum.
In some of Lackberg's other books there is a more even balance between light and dark, and they are better for it.
Thoroughly enjoyed the story and plot. My only criticism is that it's a shame the narrator didn't listen to previous books to get a feel of the characters already given a voice by other narrators, was strange as they changed so drastically.
I have enjoyed the other Lackberg books but I found this one less 'meaty". Too many characters and I couldn't get involved with any of them . The narrator wasn't the best either.There was a gruffness to voice which made the 'lead' character, Patrick, seem ancient! The writing certainly wasn't as good a the previous books. There was a lot of explanation of what had gone on before - very annoying when you have taken the trouble to read the books in order. Jo Nesbo just alludes to what has happened to Harry before - just the odd sentence. Camilla Lackberg is very long-winded. Even the ending was disappointing. The book just stopped!
I have read all the books in this series and this latest one does not disappoint.
I really enjoyed it and like the fact that it tells more than one story and how they mingle together. I may be a little slow on the uptake because unlike other reviewers I did not guess the plot and was quite surprised when revealed and liked the discovery.
I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, especially Bertil Mellberg and his dog and how they develop further with each book. The developing relationship between Erica and her sister Anna was equally interesting.
While I do love Harry Hole from Jo Nesbo and Wallander from Henning Mankell it is refreshing to see Patrik as a lead detective who is not a damaged character, isolated and with loads of social and emotional problems. I thought the stories developed well and will be eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series.
I felt the narration was lacking and did not enjoy the reading and would recommend Sean Barrett who is excellent.
"Settling into the familiar"
This is the formula as before but that is no bad thing for fans.
A good central mystery mingled with more insight into the main characters and their stories.
In a long running series it's hard to adjust to a new narrator and I felt the change was not for the better.
I think Camilla Lackberg would benefit from taking a new look at her Erica and patrick books. Love them as characters and love the setting and the other back stories but need a little fresher eye.
"Good to have Patrick and Erica back!"
Another good read from Camilla Lackberg...good storyline....more about their home life..I thoroughly enjoyed this..a bit like putting on a comfy pair of slippers...and not wanting to the them off...however ...I did see the glaringly obvious twist right from the beginning. I do recommend this one especially if you have read the previous books.
"Great author - loved every single book"
Camilla Lackberg is way up on my list of favourite authors and once again certainly does not disappoint. So many things happened that I certainly did not see coming. Constantly surprised me and the ending certainly shocked me. You will think you see it coming but will be wrong. Don't want to spoil it for anyone so suffice to say just read it. This is a great series but do read in order so that you can follow Patrik Hedstrom as he investigates these crimes,
"Typical Scandanavian Thriller"
Since the international success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Scandanavian crime thrillers concentrate on the minutiae of real life, warts and all. This is no exception. Underlying themes of abuse of power, both institutional and personal, run through all of Lackberg's books. This is no exception, with the blind incompetance of the police chief causing twists to the plot. The memories of previous abuse begin to break relationships, but the central characters of Patrick and Erica provide the stability and hope that everything will work out in the end.
Describing the plot of this book in any detail would spoil the story, but suffice it to say if you enjoyed the previous books in this series you will not be disappointed. One bonus with this book is the narrator, who is far more listenable than previous narrators.
"Morbidity & Motherhood"
It is often said of songwriters that their first album is brilliant and from then on it is all downhill. The reason being that they have a suitcase full of songs representing their whole life up to the first album, after that they have to 'write to order' to meet contractual obligations. Unfortunately there is more than a little of that aspect to Camilla Lackberg's series of books. Each one seems to be weaker than the last, and the balance between the police procedural, and the home life of the female half of the duo tips ever further into the domestic element. Erica Falk seems to be a very thinly disguised version of the author herself, and I suppose it must be easier to write about the pregnancies and child rearing she has experienced than to research the historical and crime elements which were strong in earlier works, but the percentage of which seems to be diminishing with each release.
Here a large part of that crime element is a rehash of things done many times (and better) before and the big 'surprise' about The Lost Boy is very obvious from the early pages. This is then mixed in with far too much detail on vomiting, crying babies. If Marie Stopes had written Psycho this might have been the result. It is certainly the last one of the series I will buy and I would hope that someone will call time on any more being produced. Very disappointing.
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