The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 1)

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9780007269853: The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 1)

The psychological thriller debut of No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Lackberg.

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, at first, that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a memoir about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will help to overcome her writer's block as well as answer questions about their own past. 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 this small town with a deeply disturbing past...

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Review:

Now that Scandinavian crime fiction is very firmly on the map (along with much other crime in translation), it has become clear to readers that Henning Mankel -- the Trojan horse for the breakthrough of Swedish crime writers -- was only the tip of the iceberg. Now readers in Britain and America are starting to discover that there are other writers of real accomplishment out there. And a name that will soon be on many lips is that of Camilla Leckberg -- already a very well-known name in her native Sweden, with five novels under her belt. The first to reach these shores, however, is The Ice Princess -- and its phenomenal success in Sweden looks set to be replicated over here. Leckberg has been described as Sweden's new Agatha Christie, and although there is some truth in the description, it doesn't tell the whole story. We have a Christie-like provincial village (here, Fjällbacka, in which Leckberg herself was born) and a variety of suspects for a very unpleasant murder. Also Christie-like is the machine-tooled precision of the plot, but Leckberg is very much a contemporary writer, offering a picture of modern society that is as penetrating as her narrative is involving.

The writer Erica Falck has returned to her home town on the death of her parents, but discovers the community in turmoil. A close childhood friend, Alex, has been found dead. Her wrists have been slashed, and her body is frozen solid in a bath that has turned to ice. Erica decides to write a memoir about the charismatic but withdrawn Alex, more as a means of overcoming her own writer’s block than solving the mystery of Alex's death. But Erica finds that her interest in Alex is becoming almost obsessive. She begins to work with local detective Patrik Hedstrom, and the duo soon find that some unpleasant secrets are buried beneath the comfortable surface of the town.

On the evidence of this first book of Leckberg’s to be translated, we have yet another authoritative crime writer from abroad to add to an ever-growing list. Let's hope translations of her successive novels follow quickly. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

Praise for ‘The Ice Princess’:

‘Heart-stopping and heart-warming, ‘The Ice Princess’ is a masterclass in Scandinavian crime writing’ Val McDermid

‘Camilla Läckberg is a more than welcome addition to the growing ranks of Scandinavian crime writers translated into English. With its sharp emotional nuances and psychological insight, The Ice Princess builds in suspense as the author turns her clear eye on the buried secrets and contemporary relationships of a small, isolated community. I predict that Fjallbacka and its crimes and people will soon be as poplular here as they are in her native Sweden’ Peter Robinson

European reviews for ‘The Ice Princess’:

‘The plot is simply superb, in an almost Agatha Christie-style. The cast of characters emerge with clarity and feel quite genuine... secrets come out in the 331-page book that bring about more things than murder. I read it in one go. A book that you can’t put down’ Sala Allehanda

‘Camilla Läckberg is a Crime Queen’ Bild am Sontag

‘Strong portrayals and ice-cold suspense from Sweden's new Agatha Christie’ My Life

‘Ingenious’ Metropol

'This is unputdownable. Läckberg keeps the thrills coming until the very end' Viva

'Camilla Läckberg was voted Swedish Writer of the Year for 2005. Bring on the next one!' Crimezone.nl

‘An amazingly mature, well thought-out and exciting criminal novel...Leckberg stands out as the best first-time offender of the year’ Jury

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