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.
©2010 Camilla Lackberg (P)2010 HighBridge Company
“Läckberg skillfully details how horrific secrets are never completely buried and how silence can kill the soul.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This excellent thriller is a must-read for fans of Scandinavian crime literature and will especially appeal to those who enjoy Asa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson novels.” (Booklist)
“Chilly, deceptive, and lucid, just like the icy environment it describes.” (The Literary Review)
I was very disappointed in this audio book. I thought the story was interesting, and I wanted to listen, but for me, the narrator was just not right. He is definitely more suited to a period novel. And he was too British sounding. I felt like I was listening to a story taking place in the east end of London. It was very distracting, and made this a difficult listen for me, and I really wanted to like it.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
I don't think this was a particularly great novel, nor do I think it was rubbish. It has the challenges of a writers first novel. I think that the writer weaves an interesting story, but the reader is not really give the opportunity to weave the answers. Too many things are hidden from us. A note, or a discovery that we don't get to see until after the fact. I liked the characters well enough. Patrik and Erica were good, but they weren't perfect. Erica was a little weak, but I do think there is enough to build upon, so I will give the series a second look. There are a few unresolved issues, that I would hope get resolved in the second book, otherwise, it's a big letdown, since it was made a pretty big conflict in the story.
THE ICE PRINCESS is the first of a series written by Scandinavian author, Camilla. Lackberg. She definitely gets the flavor of secrets too long hidden in a small fishing town. When author, Erica returns to her hometown to deal with her old home after her parents death, she finds a lot more than she had bargained for. First of all, her wife beating brother in law is forcing the sale of their family home which Erica loves but she can't afford to buy out her sister's 1/2 share. Then she decides to visit a childhood best girlfriend, Alex, that she hasn't seen in years and finds her in a tub of frozen water with her wrists slashed.
Erica has been asked to write a short article about her friend's life. She begins research by meeting with an old childhood sweetheart, Patrick, who is now a policeman. Together, they determine that Alex's death was not a suicide but was murder. As they work together, getting all the local gossip, they rekindle their love and find more hidden secrets from the town's past. Secrets that kept hidden, caused more grief and sorrow for the town's residents than one could imagine.
I really enjoyed this book, but found the huge cast of characters a bit daunting to begin with. This is definitely one of those book where you need to sit down for a couple of long reading periods rather than reading in short bursts. The story line kept me intrigued, and though I kind of knew where the story line was taking me, I was fooled in the end. Plan on continuing this series for sure.
The story was was an original take on a pervasive societal problem.
I liked the setting which was the reason I chose the book.
The narrator sounded like an older British gentleman so did all the characters. Since many of the characters were female and blonde it was hard to imagine them as anything but old and dowdy with this narrator. I was frequently confused about who was talking.
I will look for this author again but not this narrator.
This was an interesting story with some novel ideas and approaches. It kept me engaged for the most part. It was not clear who the killer was and it took a while to figure out all the characters and sub-plots but it was a good read with unpredictable twists and turns. I especially liked the 'maid/mother' character and her relationship with her 'employer'. It was refreshing when she was finally able to speak her 'truth'.
I liked the reader's accent and manner of speech.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
You will read many reviews about the bad narration for this book. It is true that the choice of narrator was unfortunate, so to listen to this book successfully, I decided to ignore the quality of the narration and concentrate on the story. I am so glad I did, because the audio book was wonderful. I found it easy to get immersed in the story. I even made up reasons to go out on errands so that I could listen to more of this compelling mystery during my drive. I absolutely love dark Scandinavian mysteries (Stieg Larrson, Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, etc.), especially if the setting is during Winter. Camilla Lackberg has now been added to my regular listening schedule. Her characters are so well developed that after only a few paragraphs, I found myself thinking "I know someone just like that" -- but, the author made them funnier. In particular, I fell in love with the main characters, Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck. The small coastal Swedish town sounds so charming that I looked it up the internet to see if you could travel there easily. When I read this was the first book by this young author, I was surprised because her talent matches some of the very best mystery writing that have been around a long time. She has done an outstanding job of writing a well-paced, exciting story. I hope she has a very long career and all her books get translated.
A more appropriate narrator would have made this a 3-star audiobook, but the writing was just not of a 4 or 5 star quality. It certainly compares badly to those of other Scandinavian writers like Henning Mankell or Jo Nesbo.
I would not recommend that anyone purchase the book / audiobook for themselves. It is the sort of book that you might read/listen to if you are on vacation and find it left behind by someone else. As an audiobook, it did the job of entertaining me while driving, but it took me months to get through and I never felt the need to listen beyond a 20 minute drive. Although the author was able to competently sustain suspense, I spent much of the time rolling my eyes at the clumsy and clichéd descriptions and dialogue. And it is difficult not to constantly think of how good it could have been in the hands of a deeper and more imaginative writer.
The performance was perfectly competent, but he was a poor choice of narrator. A younger man or a woman would have been more appropriate, as the main protagonists were a 30-something man and woman. The narrator was unable to read the dialogue in a way that was not distracting. The younger male characters were all indistinguishable from the old men.
It was not good enough that I looked forward to listening to it, but not bad enough that I would have rather sat in silence or listened to an NPR pledge-break while driving.
This book is a fun read. I'll definitely listen to it again. I'm not quite finished with it 13 minutes. I got online to see if there are more books by Lackberg
When Erica's sister leaves her husband the the act that precipitates her leaving.
I liked his very light accent and his ability to change voice so well.
I took the book to bed and each time I fell asleep I'd have to wind back to the last thing I remembered.
Record more of her books.
The narrator was monotonous to listen to and I finally gave up and read it on my Kindle. He reads very, very slowly. I use Audible.com downloads when I run and the performance was so slow I had to speed it up. It was like listening to a chipmunk read! I'm a huge fan of Scandanavian mysteries - Larsson, Mankel, Nesbo, etc., and looked forward to trying Lackberg. She's a little simplistic and not my favorite.
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