A local woman is killed in a tragic car crash, but while the victim’s blood contains high alcohol levels, she rarely drank a drop. Meanwhile, a reality TV show begins shooting in Fjällbacka, and as cameras shadow the stars’ every move, tempers flare. When a drunken party ends with an unpopular contestant’s murder, all eyes turn to the cast and crew. Could there be a murderer among them? The ratings spike as the country tunes in to a real life murder mystery.
Detective Patrik Hedstrom finds himself increasingly unable to focus on the strange circumstances of the first case, but what if that holds the key to a series of other unsolved cases across Sweden? Under the unforgiving media spotlight, Patrik tackles his most challenging investigation yet.
©2006 Camilla Lackberg (P)2013 HighBridge Company
Parts of the book certainly are entertaining and it's fine for commuting. But the constant alluding to some detail that remains elusive just beyond the characters'--particularly Patrick's--consciousness only to be remembered, lo and behold, a short while later really got kind of old as a narrative strategy fast. I understand that a mystery needs to create suspense but this was just too formulaic and, frankly, boring. I stopped caring after a while whether this "something" here and "something" there he couldn't pinpoint just now would eventually be revealed. She uses a similar strategy to NOT reveal phone calls, or discoveries, or really important information, by "fading out" so that the characters are filled in but the reader/listener isn't. Trying too hard to get me intrigued.
Vance is fantastic across the board. Love, love, love.
I've listened to all of Camilla Lackberg's Fjallbacka series so far, and have enjoyed the characters and stories very much. I have to say, however, that I prefer David Thorn's readings over Simon Vance's. Don't get me wrong, Simon Vance is an excellent narrator generally, but I found myself often jarred by Vance's pronunciation of the Swedish character and place names. He's so "British" that he seems to be unable (or unwilling) to pronounce the names as they would be by a native speaker. Instead, for example, even in the opening "credits" he prounonces the author's name as "Camilla Lackbury" instead of "Lackberg." I can't say that he's really "wrong," but as a native American English speaker, it bothered me enough that I'm writing this review to mention it.
I love books!
This is my second Camilla Lackberg book and I can see the improvement over the first one. Her books so far aren't overly suspenseful police procedurals but they are interesting and entertaining. The author has good insight into human nature plus I enjoy the Swedish settings and talk about life in Sweden. Throw in the interesting twists and turn the author put into her stories and it's an entertaining listen. I know I'll listen to the next one as it's about a mother with a Nazi past, the end of this book gives you a lead in plus I looked ahead at the next one.
These Fjallbacka mysteries are all very well-crafted police procedurals, which I like. They probably don't have enough action for some, but they hold my attention easily. A myriad of mundane details support good character development along with the mystery. This book may have more of that than previous books; but I wasn't put off--I just got to know some of the characters better. While narrator David Thorn did a good job on the earlier books for the most part, I never got over his very Swedish people and place-name pronunciations--especially poor Patrik's name. Maybe when someone is speaking Swedish, Pawtrik or even Pohrtrik is right, but among all those British accents it sounds very out of place as did Ear-ica (Erika). I was relieved when Vance actually said Patrik and Erika as a Brit would. I was hoping to find the next book, but it looks like I get to wait. I also recommend reading the books in order; they have the same characters.
Great -- I've loved his readings of the "Girl / Tattoo" series, and he does an amazing job here as well. Most notably, several of the characters "change their names" in this reading from the earlier books, as he pronounces the English names differently than his predecessor.
Did not care for the Swedish proper name pronunciations by narrator. No hard and rolled "g" as in ...berg, as in Swedish pronunciation, but he pronounced as "bury.' Just bothered me a bit, but otherwise very good story to listen to. Keep them coming, Camilla!
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