Series: Patrik Hedstrom #01
Published by Pegasus on June 15, 2010
Genres: police procedural
Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka 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 that she has taken her own life.
Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into 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 a small town with a deeply disturbing past.
This is the first of Läckberg’s books that I’ve read, but I’ve been a fan of other “nordic noir” authors.
Biographer Erika Falck has found herself back in her childhood home in a small Swedish town after the unexpected death of both her parents. One morning, just up the road, Erika finds the body of Alex Wijkner in her bathtub. Alex had been Erika’s best childhood friend until she mysteriously and suddenly moved away. Despite their long absence, Erika just doesn’t believe that her death is the suicide it appears to be. She gets herself caught up in the story and with Alex’s grieving family, and feels pulled to write a book about Alex.
Detective Patrik Hedstrom also has his suspicions about Alex’s death, mostly centering around a local artist with a reputation for being a hopeless drunk. When he finds out Erika has a connection to Alex’s family, he pulls her into his investigation as well. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s getting a chance to be close to his schoolboy crush.
This is a twisty turny story with a number of red herrings that doesn’t end up anywhere close to where I expected it to in the beginning. I think this was a solid start to the series, and I intend to read more.
- “Lackberg tackles murder, alcoholism, suicide, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Lackberg effortlessly weaves all these threads together into an impressive, compelling fast-paced read.” – The Book Lover’s Boudoir
- “It is one of those crime novels that not only has a mystery, and indeed a rather grim and horrendous one, at its heart but also looks at the way a murder affects the characters and the place around it with multiple layers and facets.” – Savidge Reads
- “Importantly, The Ice Princess contains what I love most about Nordic Noir – that cold and moody atmosphere that only Scandinavian crime fiction can deliver, although it didn’t come through as strong as I would have liked but I’m obsessed with this atmosphere so it may please those that aren’t planning life goals to visit all these countries!” – Keeper of Pages