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The Gingerbread House: 1 Paperback – 20 Apr 2012

102 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Stockholm Text (20 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9187173239
  • ISBN-13: 978-9187173233
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,070,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The pages turn themselves, right up to the final startling twist (John Verdon)

Carin Gerhardsen writes so vividly, like she is painting with words, gripping your heart and soul in an ever-tightening tourniquet (Peter James)

The books are fast-paced and addictive: finely tuned pieces that virtually demand to be read in one sitting (Barry Forshaw) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

From the same publisher – and even the same editorial team – that brought you Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy comes Carin Gerhardsen, author of the Hammarby-series, five crime novels that take place in the southern parts of Stockholm. Originally a mathematician, Carin Gerhardsen has become one of Sweden’s most highly praised crime authors, considered “Sweden’s number one female crime author”, by Bokhora, the most popular book blog in Sweden. Lot of the scenes depicted are self-experienced, based on episodes from Gerhardsen’s own childhood.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Alex C on 27 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
I have never written a review before but feel compelled to in order to encourage you to save your money.

From the outset the motivation of the criminal is completely obvious and we learn nothing about the character as the story unfolds. From this point of view the story is like the tv show Columbo but it's missing the genius of Peter Falk in the protagonist of Conny Sjoberg. Far from being the typical detective who has personal problems and stresses that must be fought in order to maintain productivity in work, Sjoberg has a fantastic home life and only fights with his wife once - when he has to work over the weekend in order to solve the murder case.

The story takes so long to unfold not because the police have competing theories or conflicting evidence but apparently Sweden is the only country in the developed world that does not have a centralised fingerprint database. As such it takes about three quarters of the way through before the cases are eventually linked when regional police forces post their fingerprint analyses to Stockholm. Yes, you read that correctly, the results of the analyses are posted in hard copy format, as if this story is set a hundred years ago.
After the confirmation that the murders are linked the case takes one day to solve. Huzzah for efficiency! Imagine if they had wanted to work this hard before, other victims would have been spared.

Do I need to tell you that this is a completely rubbish book? I must have been reading a different story to everyone else because they all seem to love it and have identified multiple twists. Where are these?
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By maggiefb on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read a few Scandinavian crime thrillers now, hooked in by Stieg Larsson. This story begins back in 1968 in a pre-school housed in an attractive building on top of a hill, surrounded by pine trees. However, within this idyllic setting an unpleasant regime of bullying is allowed to flourish: group dynamics and an uncaring teacher allow the brutal victimisation of two unfortunate children by their six-year-old classmates - children who, in the UK, would be in their second year of primary school.
In a different part of Sweden, in 2006, a murder occurs. Chief Inspector Conny Sjoberg, of the Violent Crimes Unit in Hammarby, Stockholm, leads the investigation. Rebus he is not - he is a happily married father of five who plays by the rules and gets on well with all his colleagues. After three more murders in other parts of the country he realises a serial killer may be responsible.
A fascinating portrayal of life in Sweden, Stockholm in particular, is presented to the reader. The Scandinavian character: understated and sometimes lacking in emotion, is described, along with the autumn weather and atmosphere. We experience family life - and lack of it in some cases, and are allowed to sample the food: unfamiliar (moose steak); tantalising (family meals prepared by Conny and his children), and unappealing: (burnt pork schnitzel with noodles).
We are also educated about the Middle East conflict and, in a sub-plot, encounter the use of Rohypnol, known as the 'date-rape' drug.
Throughout the book we read 'The Diary of a Murderer', which gives us insight into the reasons behind these gruesome killings.

The prose and dialogue often seem stilted - not unusual in books which have been translated from one language to another - and the language is American English.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Simon Clarke on 22 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This excellent novel,the first of a series,set in Stockholm,
is an example of Scandinavian crime fiction at its very best.
In 1968,relentless bullying occurs amongst very young school
children .Several years later a series of brutal murders take
place in the Stockholm area.Chief Inspector Conny Sjoberg and
his team eventually find a link between them.
The novel works on several levels.The police procedural aspect,
is skillfully done ,and never less than interesting,as the team
led by the intuitive Conny Sjoberg,a busy father of five children,
attempt to come to grips with the case.There is a sub-plot
concerning one of the female detectives.Suspense is maintained
throughout,whilst the long-lasting effects of bullying are
harrowingly portrayed.
First rate. Leaves one eagerly awaiting the second novel in
the series.
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By DJF on 24 July 2014
Format: Paperback
This is one of the recent collect of crime books coming out of
Scandinavia. Despite assertations on the cover that this was of the same
standard as "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", it wasn't. So please
don't go into this book expecting an outstanding, well constructed story
with wonderful characters. This is a fairly average detective novel
with a few flaws, some predictibility but good characters.
An elderly
lady coming home from hospital finds a murdered man in her kitchen. She
doesn't know who he is or why he is there. Conny Sjoberg heads the team
who need to find answers and end up discovering more questions as they
piece together a string of seemingly unconnected murders.
This is a
book with potential but which hasn't quite become a great read. It was a
good read but with some very glaring issues - some of which could be
explained by the difference in culture or translation. I was somewhat
surprised when the murderer (we have insight to their thoughts via diary
pages although we aren't told their identity until the end) rang the
tax office and asked for the address of someone they were looking for -
the tax office gave it to them? Really? I can't believe that Sweden is
that lax over security/privacy. This was a totally unconvincing piece of
the story which I feel the author was hoping to gloss over as they
couldn't find a better solution. I also found some of the translation
and Americanisms slightly jarring. They didn't fit with the style of the
story which led me to wonder if the translation had been done with the
American market in mind.
I have written in the past about
dysfunctional detectives.
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