The second psychological thriller from No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Läckberg.
In the fishing community of Fjallbacka, life is remote, peaceful – and for some, tragically short.
Foul play was always suspected in the disappearance twenty years ago of two young holidaymakers in the area. Now a young boy out playing has confirmed this grim truth. Their remains, discovered with those of a fresh victim, send the town into shock.
Local detective Patrik Hedstrom, expecting a baby with his girlfriend Erica, can only imagine what it is like to lose a child. When a second young girl goes missing, Hedstrom's attention focuses on the Hults, a feuding clan of misfits, relgious fanatics and criminals. The suspect list is long but time is short – which of this family's dark secrets will provide the vital clue?
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‘Strong portrayals and ice-cold suspense from Sweden's new Agatha Christie’ My Life
'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’ JuryFrom the Author:
Your novels begin with visually distinctive crime scenes – a body frozen in a bathtub or a girl arranged on two skeletons. Does imagery inspire your plots?
For me actually, specific images – snapshots – come first, and then the story starts to come together from those bits and pieces. I am very visual when I write, I "see" the story in pictures and writing a book is like having a movie running in my head 24/7.
One of the books’ strengths is the contrast between Erica's warm character and blossoming romance and the viciousness of the crimes. Was this a difficult balance to strike?
My goal when I started writing about my couple Erica and Patrik, was to make them as ordinary people as possible. They are no superheroes, they have the same joys, sorrows and obstacles in life as most of us, and I love writing about them falling in love, and still – after six books in the series, I enjoy so much being able to follow their life. To me they really exist. They have become my closes friends and they are very, very real.
There’s plenty of humour in the book. The character of Mellberg for example is someone who would be detestable if he weren’t so ridiculous, and his pratfalls provide light relief. Few crime writers use humour, other than the gallows kind, so how did this style come about? Do you think it has become part of the books’ success?
I think my own sense of humour is quite goofy, and for example I love to play pranks on people.... But as a writer I am also interested in contrast. It is contrast that creates tension in a story, and it just felt natural to balance the dark parts of the book, with lighter parts. I guess I kind of want to take my readers on a roller coaster ride of emotions, and laughter is a wonderful thing to bring to the table....
Who do you imagine your typical reader to be?
I have thought a lot about who my average reader is. But I have to say that I’m finding it harder and harder to find a specific type. I meet a lot of my readers in signings and reading sessions, and they range for 15-year-old girls to 80-year-old men.
How many books are planned in the series?
In Sweden it has been popular among crime writers to write ten books in a series. But I have always resisted deciding beforehand how many books I will write about Patrik and Erica.
Do you plan to keep all your work in Fjällbacka with Patrik and Erica?
I only focus on one book at a time, and have decided that I will write about Patrik, Erica and Fjällbacka as long as it gives me joy, and excitement. Beyond that, who knows what the future will bring!
Sweden seems to have a particular cultural attachment to crime fiction, where it seems to be taken pretty seriously by writers. Why do you think this is such a Swedish form?
We have a great tradition of crime writing in Sweden, and I think that started with a crime writing couple named Sjöwall & Wahlöö. They wrote great books in a whole new style, and set the bar high for all of us that has followed.
You have featured in Swedish gossip pages while most of our UK newspapers are filled with stories about talentless models. Could you tell us a little about how this happened, and how you feel about it?
For me the interest from the Swedish gossip magazines started when I divorced a few years ago. I was fairly well known in Sweden already, but it really chocked me that my divorce became headline news in Sweden. And after that it was like there was no going back, and the slightest thing in my life seemed to be of public interest.... Then it so happened that I met a new man – who is also very well known in Sweden – he is a policeman who was Sweden’s first winner of "Survivor"- and with that the gossip magazines and the tabloids just went nuts.... And I don’t like that kind of attention in the media. But I try not to let it affect my life too much.
I believe there was a TV film made of the book in Sweden. What did you think of it? Are there plans for any other screen adaptations?
I loved the Swedish TV-series and especially the casting, which was great. They did the two first books and the series had very high ratings when it aired in Sweden, so they will now film the next two books come this fall. As of distribution abroad, I don’t know when and if that will happen, but we are actually in discussions with a French production company who are interested in "The Ice Princess"
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