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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 7 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Stonecutter (Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3) (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck) (Paperback)
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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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