Top positive review
on December 14, 2014
This Swedish author has written eight novels, of which this is the fifth to be published in the United States. The first, “The Ice Princess,” was widely accepted as on a par with the best of the recent Scandinavian noir novels. As with that debut book, this novel also is set in the small fishing village of Fjallbacka and is a police procedural.
Camilla Lackberg continues the series with Detective Patrik Hedstrom taking a four-month paternity leave to care of their young daughter, Maja, and other domestic duties, and enable his wife, Erica, to write her new book. After a tough beginning, especially getting acclimated to his new duties and missing his professional work, things develop in unexpected ways. To begin with, Erica discovers some old artifacts, including an Iron Cross, belonging to her mother which leads her to divert her attention to learn more about her parent.
Erica shows the medal to a retired history professor, a specialist in Nazi history, who is murdered shortly thereafter. Another murder of an elderly woman adds to the mystery, especially since the two victims were childhood friends. Are the crimes related? The plot continues with a dual thrust, with Erica pursuing knowledge of her mother and the police investigating the crimes. And the information developed becomes intertwined.
The novel, as its predecessors in the series, is of consistently high quality, well-plotted, carefully translated and well written. Perhaps most important, the characters are natural, every-day types of people, living typical lives and working hard. The plots move forward with logic, and the loose ends come together at the end smoothly, although in a completely unexpected manner.