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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen, a sensational new crime-writing talent from the same Swedish editorial team and publisher as Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. Read by the actress Candida Gubbins.

Ingrid Olsson returns home from a Stockholm hospital to discover a man in her kitchen. She's never seen the intruder before. But he's no threat - he's dead. Criminal Investigator Conny Sjoberg takes the call, abandoning his wife Asa and their five children for the night. His team identify the body as that of a middle-aged family man. But why was he there? And who bludgeoned him to death?

Lacking suspect and motive, Sjoberg's team struggle until they link the case to another - apparently random - killing. And discover they face a serial killer on a terrible vendetta.... The Gingerbread House is the first title in The Hammarby Series, novels following Detective Inspector Conny Sjoberg and his murder investigation team - a gripping feast for all fans of Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg, and Henning Mankell.

Carin Gerhardsen was born in 1962 in Katrineholm, Sweden. Originally a mathematician, she enjoyed a successful career as an IT consultant before turning her hand to writing crime fiction. Carin now lives in Stockholm with her husband and their two children. She is currently working on the seventh title in the series.

©2014 Carin Gerhardsen; 2014 Penguin Books Limited

Critic Reviews

"Carin Gerhardsen writes so vividly, like she is painting with words, gripping your heart and soul in an ever-tightening tourniquet" (Peter James)
"Gerhardsen brings a timely perspective to the serial killer genre, as her characters are engulfed by the worst possible consequences of their childhood cruelties. The pages turn themselves, right up the final startling twist" (John Verdon)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea

I pre-ordered this book and started listening the day it arrived. I enjoy discovering a new Scandinavian author that has a clever story idea and lots of talent. The reviews looked good so I was expecting something on the level of Jussi Adler-Olsen or Camilla Lackberg.

The narration was unsettling to me from the start. Gubbins seems like a very capable narrator, but her voice and accent was annoying to me. I actually considered buying the Kindle version to get through the story. Despite the narration, I never got hooked into the story. Even though I knew before the book started that the serial killer would be revealed to the reader, I thought the police procedural would be interesting on how they would catch him. That never happened for me. I finally gave up after the 4th hour.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • katie
  • Albany WA
  • 06-13-14

excellent

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gingerbread House to be better than the print version?

Yes I loved listening to this book

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes -had know idea who the killer was until almost the end- was well written and the narrator was excellent- loved it

Which character – as performed by Candida Gubbins – was your favorite?

Connie and Petra

Any additional comments?

I really loved these books and so I am very disappointed that the other books written by this author are narrated in Swedish and I wish they in were in English as I don't speak Swedish so I'm hoping they will be narrated in English in the near future PLEASE and thank you

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Is There Ever a Statute of Limitations on Revenge?

There are consequences for actions and the fact that there seems to be no statute of limitations for revenge makes a person wonder if, in fact, we will eventually pay for the mistakes we made as wee children. Mistakes that most of us will never remember since our actions at 5 or 6 years old are often lost to the dull mist of memory. Hmmm.. this could be a scary thought.
Candida Gubbins narrated this story well.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 12-26-14

Couldn't stop listening!

No spoilers here!
This book is every bit a Scandinavian murder mystery with multiple story threads. The main plot has roots far in the past, murders in the present, and a rush to prevent future killings. However, there is not one gruff loner detective doing things regardless of the consequences. The team works together, divides the responsibilities, and we get a glimpse of them off work. Early in the book I was drawn in to the background, realization that the murders are work of a serial killer, and the rush to stop the carnage. I will definitely follow this author in the future.

I didn't sync with the narrator immediately, but it only took a short time to get into her rhythm and enjoy "someone reading to me."

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  • J. Hamer
  • 03-20-15

A well written mystery

Well written, captivating story with twists and turns leading to an unexpected ending. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kaggy
  • 01-10-15

Low on tension but great police characters

This is an interesting story that invites you to have some compassion for the killer. This works to a degree but the downside in that the plot lacks tension because it is hard to feel a great deal of sympathy with the victims. Naturally they don't deserve to die in such a heinous way but they really are a pretty unpleasant bunch.

The best parts of the book are driven by the various police officers in the case. Each one is an interesting character in their own right, and there is a very good sub plot, plus a clever twist at the end. I am not certain, but this appears to be part of a series, and I would be tempted to carry on reading to find out more about this team.

The narrator does a good job involving multiple accents and characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • P. S. Elliott
  • 10-21-15

Terrific story,

Wonderful twisting turns all the way - who dunnit.? You won’t know till the end for sure. If you like murder mystery and like living on the cliff edge, then this is for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 06-07-14

A sad but unfortunately true tale

Which character – as performed by Candida Gubbins – was your favourite?

Thomas was such a sad human being, without ever really experiencing love, joy or laughter in his life, nor the feeling of security.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The prologue brought me too tears, I found it exceptionally moving and fatefully truthful even as today our children suffer through this form of abuse

Any additional comments?

This is the first book of Carin Gerhardson's that I have read, found it to be well written, with plenty emotion strewn throughout.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Shi Shu Li
  • 01-11-18

Either poorly written,or poorly translated

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Candida Gubbins?

I have to admit, I'm the type who likes male voices for a male main character or a female voice for a female main character. If there's both, either will do, but both Tomas and Conny are dudes. Gubbins voice is very light and childish, and it just didn't sit with me.

Any additional comments?

I'm half-way and really struggling. It could be a very bad translation that fails to capture the Swedish-ness(?) of the characters' mannerisms and observations, but the descriptions are annoying dull, weirdly self evident, and often cringe-worthy to listen to. I also struggle with more or less all the character development, everyone is stupidly one-dimensional, and even the killer's motivation comes off as flimsy. Too much shock-value and very little substance. I'm going to finish it, because so many seem to like it and I might be missing some amazing revelation nearer the end, but I'm not sure my opinion will change. Fingers crossed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Beatrice
  • 12-15-17

Best Read In A While

Got this as part of a 2 for 1 offer, which usually include books with a little lower than perfect star score, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would have happily paid full price for this. A very different type of crime story, with excellent narration. One of those stories where you can't wait to hear the next bit. Will probably carry on and purchase the rest of this writer's offerings. The only quibble I have, and I'm niggling here, is that it's a bit gory in places, but I'm stretching to find fault really.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kiersten
  • 02-06-17

An enjoyable book

This is the second book I've read in this series and enjoyed. The plot lines are not complicated and the twist at the end is a bit predictable. The narrator's accent is dodgy at times and there is an unfinished storyline - hopefully there is a further book to explore it more. Overall I would recommend for some light 'reading'.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. S. Duffy
  • 01-22-17

Possibly ok story marred by poor narration

I don't think the plot is more than average but I think I would have enjoyed this more with a better narration. The reader's use of poorly deployed, bizarre UK regional accents (it's a translation of a Swedish novel) were very off-putting. The vocal characterisations were generally poor and distracting.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lynsey Saunders
  • 10-23-15

Predictable but enjoyable

I enjoyed this book but guessed very early on what the outcome would be. That's not to say it wasn't well-woven or enjoyable just much more predictable by comparison than other similar crime writers. Overall a decent story that really connects you to the characters emotionally.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MRS
  • 09-19-15

Lost in the middle

Started off great....lost it a bit in the middle!!? Then bang nice little twist at the end