The Stonecutter (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3)

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9780007305933: The Stonecutter (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3)

The third psychological thriller from No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Läckberg.

The remote resort of Fjällbacka has seen its share of tragedy, though perhaps none worse than that of the little girl found in a fisherman's net. But the post-mortem reveals that this is no accidental drowning…

Local detective Patrik Hedström has just become a father. It is his grim task to discover who could be behind the methodical murder of a child both he and his partner, Erica, knew well.

He knows the solution lies with finding a motive for this terrible crime. What he does not know is how this case will reach into the dark heart of Fjällbacka and tear aside its idyllic façade, perhaps forever.

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Review:

‘The Stonecutter, by Camilla Läckberg … continues her excellent series… The main narrative is cleverly interspersed with flashbacks from the past, the relevance of which becomes apparent as the novel progresses. Läckberg is particularly good at portraying the claustrophobia of a small community in which everyone knows everyone else and the police may well be friends with killers’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘Camilla Läckberg is probably the hottest female writer in Sweden at the moment… Läckberg's job is to make the reader pleasurably uncomfortable – one of her ironclad skills’ Barry Forshaw, Independent

‘The interplay between the police detectives and the lives of the characters in the small town… are absorbing and realistic’ www.eurocrime.co.uk

Praise for ‘The Ice Princess’:

‘Another top-class Scandinavian crime writer reaches the British market’ The Times

‘A welcome new voice in crime fiction’ Woman & Home

‘Has a brooding quality redolent of its barren Swedish landscapes… intriguing and not a little disturbing’ Irish Times

‘Chilly, deceptive and lucid, just like the icy environment it describes’ Literary Review

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

"Camilla Lackberg 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

From the Author:

Q&A with Camilla Lackberg

Congratulations on being the sixth bestselling author in Europe! Stieg Larsson and his Millennium Trilogy topped the list and Henning Mankell is at no.9 - why do you think that Swedish crime writing has such appeal across the continent?
I believe that Sweden has a great crime writing tradition – starting with Sjöwall & Wahlöö. I also believe that people all over the world are curious about the Swedish environment and society.

Due to your success and the genre and country in which you are writing you are often categorised and grouped with other Scandinavian crime authors. But which authors do you see yourself as similar to and who has had the greatest influence on your work?
My biggest influence is actually Agatha Christie. She started my love for traditional and old school crime writing. And among the more modern crime writers I have a great love for the English authors – for example Val McDermid, Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill.

How have your novels been received back in Fjällbacka and what made you choose the town as the setting for your crime series? The reason I chose to write about Fjällbacka is that it’s the place I know best, and therefore it’s the place I best can describe in my writing. I also feel a lot of love for my home town. And to my great joy the love is answered – the people in Fjällbacka are so proud of the books, and of me.

Your novels are filled with fractured marital and family relationships. Would you say that this is representative of modern-day Swedish society?
I would say that it is representative of people all over the world and that is the reason why I think my books have had such global success. Family and our closest relationships are universal and as a writer I am very interested in relationships among people, and why I therefore chose to write about it so much and explore it in my books.

Are your characters inspired by people you know?
All writers write about people they know or have met and I’d say that most of my characters are an amalgamation of different people I know. And actually, how I form my characters isn’t always a conscious decision. But I will admit that a few of them are actual people and in those cases I have asked for their permission...

In The Ice Princess your focus was on Erica with Patrik’s narration slowly becoming more prominent throughout the book. Subsequently in The Preacher and The Stonecutter Patrik has become the focal character. Was this always your intention?
The choice of main character in each of the books is something that has occurred organically depending on what’s happening in their lives. Sometimes it’s Erica, and sometimes it’s Patrik, and I find it gives me a lot of freedom to be able to change focus.

You have three young children and The Stonecutter’s plot centres on the murder of a small child and the actions of a paedophile. Did your fears for their safety inspire you to tackle these themes in the novel?
As a mother my greatest fear is that something bad will happen to my children. And as an author I have a unique opportunity to handle and express my deepest fears by writing about them. I believe it also gives depth to the books; to be able to draw from what’s happening in my real life. Mellberg showed a new side to himself in The Stonecutter, one that was very different from his unpleasant character in the previous novels.

This is a quality of your novels, that people’s characters are far more complicated than purely good or evil. But are there any of your characters that you really dislike?
When I started writing about Mellberg, for example, my intention was that he would be a truly unpleasant character. But few people are that one dimensional – we all have good and bad sides and, as I got to know him, his good side became apparent and I have actually grown quite fond of him!

Here in the UK The Stonecutter is only the third novel in your series of seven. Without giving too much away, how about a little teaser of what’s to come next?
Well... I can say that there will be a wedding in the future... But also tragedy will strike. And that is all I can reveal right now…

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