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The Stonecutter (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3) Hardcover – 4 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007305931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007305933
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1974, Camilla Lackberg graduated from Gothenburg University of Economics, before moving to Stockholm where she worked for a few years as an economist. However, a course in creative crime writing became the trigger to a drastic change of career. Her first six novels all became Swedish No 1 bestsellers. She lives in a suburb of Stockholm with her three children.

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AR VINE VOICE on 14 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When the body of a young girl is found caught in a fisherman's net in the small Swedish town of Fjallbacka, it seems that she drowned accidentally. But when the post mortem reveals that her death was murder, local detective Patrik Hedstrom must catch the killer before they can strike again.

I'm a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction, but I've never read a book by Camilla Lackberg before, although she's apparantly one of Sweden's biggest authors and ranks above Henning Mankell in the bestseller lists.

This book has a strong domestic theme running through it, which serves to make the crime all the more shocking. Fjallbacka is a very small town, and Patrik Hedstrom is horrified to discover that the dead child is the daughter of his girlfriend's best friend. This relationship makes the investigation very claustrophobic, especially when combined with some of the other plotlines, including the vicious feud between the dead girl's overbearing grandmother and her neighbour, his wife and Asperger's sufferer son, widely regarded as the town freak because of his condition. Hedstrom's handling of the case is complicated by his feelings for his baby daughter, and the problems his girlfriend has adjusting to motherhood. The domestic aspects of this novel remind me of another Swedish crime writer, Liza Marklund, who also writes about the difficulties of combining a family life with a career investigating crime, although her protagonist is a female journalist.

At times I wasn't sure about Hedstrom as a lead detective, as he seemed to overlook obvious aspects of the investigation and sometimes floundered in his pursuit of the killer, but perhaps I just watch too much CSI and expect the detective to know exactly what they're doing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cartoon on 2 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I read the 2 previous Lackberg books and really couldnt understand why she was so popular , they were rather Midsummer murderish . Now Patrik Hedstrom is the main character rather than Erica and its so much better ride . Loved all the various unsympathetic villagers and the only reason I didnt give 5 stars is that I did guess the ending . I dont think it matters if you havent read the previous 2 books to enjoy this one, there is so much going on , so many little details of the characters lives , this is more than just a thriller . I could really see and feel Fjallbacka . Maybe its more of a womans novel than Nesbo or Larssen ; all the layers of voices including the kids , reminded me of the way some one like Jodie Piccoult can tell such a vivid tale , so even if thrillers arent your bag , I would definately give this a try.So many stories regarding a childs death are sentimental but this isnt .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peaches on 16 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
Absolutely stunned at Camilla Lackberg's book, but for all the wrong reasons. Half way through, and I'm not sure I can finish the book. The writing isn't brilliant, but a good story would more than make up for that.

The trouble is, without variation, every wife is an unhappy, depressed, lonely mother/housewife, every husband is an emotionally constipated male who cannot handle the depression of his wife and therefore escape's to work, every mother in law is a judgemental evil crone. To discover the writer was born in 1974 has left me gobsmacked. I thought maybe she was from the 1950's.

The book, apart from certain flashback chapters, is written in modern times, so all the reports of Scandinavia being a great place for the modern woman must've got it wrong. Obviously, according to Camilla, all a Swedish woman has to look forward to, is a life of hellish domesticity, and an absent husband as he spends the rest of his life trying to escape it. I despair for Swedish women is this is a true view of their lives. The traditional stereotyping of the men and women doesn't let up for even one character. It's hard to believe Camilla is Sweden's most popular writer. Best move to Denmark, ladies, where things are much better! This is not a good example of the Scandinavian Noir genre.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Simon Clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Camilla Lackberg is currently the country's most
popular author,in her native Sweden. 'The Stone
Cutter'is the third novel in the series ,and is
her most ambitious to date.
Detective Patrik Hedstrom has recently become a father
and his partner,Erica is experiencing post-natal
depression,when a young girl is found by a fisherman,
in his net---drowned.A post-mortem reveals it to be
murder.The dead girl's mother is a friend of Erica,
and as Patrik and his colleagues follow various lines
of inquiry,a can of worms is opened up in the close
community.Many of its inhabitants are ego-centric and suffer
from self-delusion,but we are cleverly kept in suspense,
as to the identity of the murderer until the end.
This is an intelligent .brave and meticulously plotted
crime thriller,where we also are left to consider the
often dreadful long-term damage caused by selfish and
inadequate parenting.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. Brack on 22 April 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Camilla Lackberg's first two books, "The Ice Princess" and "The Preacher" majored on Erica Falck, with major support from Patrik Hedstrom. This is very much Hedstrom's book, and Falck plays a lesser role. There remains a story arc around her sister that projects from the first two books, but you don't need to have read those to understand it, because there is a subtle recap.

It's a tale with an interesting construction, alternating between the present day and earlier times. A well to do lady has an affair with a stonecutter in the 1920's, and the question is how this intersects with the murder of the small daughter of one of Erica's friends. Lackberg captures very well the damage that the event causes to families but also to a small community. Unusually, there are a lot of unsympathetic characters, and the desire to give quite a few a good slap is very strong. There are incompetent policemen, selfish women, people who openly use others and people who interfere in others' lives. There are interesting comments on how we raise our children too.

The fifth star is withheld because if you've worked out the connection between the two stories, the last chapters lack suspense. But I'll look forward to the fourth book.
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