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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Scandinavian crime writer
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...
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by AR

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing...
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...
Published on 16 Sep 2012 by Peaches


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Scandinavian crime writer, 14 Feb 2011
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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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. Hedstrom is only too human, which makes him a likeable enough character.

Throughout the novel the chapters alternate with another story set decades earlier, which follows a young woman from a wealthy family who falls pregnant outside of marriage and is forced to suffer a life of poverty. The two stories provide an interesting contrast and inform the progress of Hedstrom's present day investigation.

A decent introduction to another great Scandinavian crime writer and I will certainly get hold of the earlier books in this series, and look out for the next one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars now I can finally enjoy Lackberg, 2 July 2012
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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stone Cutter --Camilla Lackberg, 18 Mar 2010
By 
Simon Clarke (Hackney, London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A shift in emphasis, 22 April 2011
By 
G. Brack - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stonecutter, 13 Mar 2011
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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I was keen to read this having read the previous two novels by Camilla Lackberg involving Detective Patrik Hedström and girlfriend Erica Falck and based in the small fishing community of Fjällbacka.

This book starts with the discovery of the body of a local girl in a fishermans net, initially it's thought to be a tragic drowning accident but the post mortem shows otherwise.

I really like this authors style of writing, not a thrill a minute fast ride but a slower paced peek behind the curtains of a small town community. With dual storylines running throughout the book I was intrigued as to where the connection was going to come and that kept me guessing until well on in the book. The characters in this book are well fleshed out and whilst I wouldn't say it's necessary to read all the books in order, having done so myself it's interesting to watch them develop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing..., 16 Sep 2012
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 7 Feb 2011
By 
Johnnybluetime - See all my reviews
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A young girl is found drowned in the sea near the small Swedish town of Fjallbacka and Detective Patrik Hedstrom and his team investigate when it turns out to be murder.

I found this an enjoyable and intriguing read with a largely believable gallery of small town characters.The book is very much about families and children, including Hedstrom's, and the author skillfully mixes the mystery with various scenes of the family lives of the people involved.Virtually every character, however small their part, receives a little back story to give them credibility: Mellberg the lazy police chief,Gosta the weary detective approaching retirement,Niclas the local doctor and his wife,Charlotte,the parents of the murdered child,Ercia,Hedstrom's wife,who is struggling to come to terms with the birth of her first child,all seem like real people.Because of this the mystery of who the murderer is and why they did it becomes less important than more plot driven books.The book alternates between short chapters about the life of the eponymous stonecutter and his wife and family in the 1920's and the modern day investigation and it is obvious that the former relates to the latter somehow, but we don't find out how until the last fifty pages or so.

Having said that,I didn't find all the characters entirely believable and there were times when it felt a bit too much like Midsomer Murders for my liking. I also felt that either the writing, or more likely the translation, was rather prosaic and I found too much of it rather stiff and formal, which did detract from my enjoyment.However,overall,I found it a satisfying read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the books of Henning Mankell and Arnaldur Indridason.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly awful book, 21 April 2012
It is the possible the translation is not great but this is definitely one of the most poorly written books I have read. The language and sense are barely adult and although I rarely fail to finish a book this may well be a one of the few (I am currently half way through). When I read the Dragon Tattoo trilogy I was aware of the weakness of the translation and editing but that was overcome by the very strong storyline and characters. As for it bearing any resemblance to Jo Nesbo who is not that brilliant a writer, (but I have read all his books to date, again it may be down to the translation) there is no comparison. Nesbo's books have considerable pace and a cast of well rounded central characters. This book is written by an amateur and it shows, quite honestly the telephone directory has more tension. A series of one dimensional characters move through a one dimensional landscape being "curt" and giving various adjectival "looks" all without any meaning or logic. I would not waste your reading time on it, there are thousands of infinitely better books out there waiting for you. I have now finished the book and it is as bad as I thought half way through, I won't be reading another.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good, 29 Mar 2010
By 
Pen pal "Topaz" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I would probably elevate this to four stars, but I feel there is something lacking, and this is perhaps due to the translation process. The characters are a little two-dimensional. Having said that, you do find yourself picking it up and wondering 'whodunnit'. There are quite a few characters who we meet and find out about. The central characters are Patrik and his wife Erica. Patrik becomes involved in the case of a young girl who is found drowned, but it quickly becomes apparent she has been murdered. What makes this case even more shocking for him, is that he knows the girl and has recently become a father to a baby daughter himself. Running alongside this narrative, we also visit the past in a sort of mini-narrative that weaves its way through the main story and find out about a set of events which clearly bare relevance to the murder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sins Of The Mother, 1 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
The third in the series of crime/mystery novels by Camilla Lackberg is a pure thriller. Interweaving the stories of several families and differing years, she gives us a story of those that were left behind and those that are here today.

The town of Fjallbacka in Sweden, where everyone knows each other, or has a sense of the person. It is a resort town, but crime is usually left to break ins and that sort, but on this day, Patrik Hedstrom, Detective in the Fjallbacka Police Department, is called to a drowning of a young girl. This drowning is later found to be a murder. Patrik is familiar to those of us who have read the first two books. He is the knowledgable one in the police department. Mellon is in charge, but is working on getting promoted and leaves most of the work to his minions, and then he takes all the credit. This murder mystery involves several people that Patrik knows, but he is able to keep a close mind to his work, unlike some of his colleagues. Patrik and his wife, Erica, are the new parents of a little baby girl, Maja. Maja is a difficult baby, wanting to feed often and screaming in-between. Erica is having a difficult time with post-partum depression. One of the issues I have with this novel is that the depression is not treated as real. 'She'll snap out it," seems to be the theme of the day. We all know it doesn't work like that. Patrik is a real detective and works out each clue with his colleague, Martin. This leads him to some very interesting people, and varying scenarios are introduced into the plot. This book will keep you interested and wanting more. I thought I knew who the murderer was, but I was fooled until two thirds of the way in.

Camilla Lackberg has a writer's pen. She knows her subject, and all of the plots re realistic with some minor differences. I intend to follow her series. I have become a fan of Patrik and Erica.

Recommended. prisrob 05-01-13
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