Read a sample extract from The Stone Cutter by Camilla Lackberg and Steven T. Murray. (PDF file viewer required)
The Stonecutter (Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck, Book 3) (Patrick Hedstrom and Erica Falck) Hardcover – 4 Mar 2010
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‘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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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
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.
I enjoy these books but I am constantly astounded by the clues that are ignored by the Police, they may get a result but it does seem more by luck than judgement. The story is interspersed with another story set in the late 1920's about a girl, Agnes growing up in Fjallbacka, it is obvious these two stories are linked but the how and why is revealed slowly.
The plot is good, the writing moves along at a speed although the translation has problems with tenses in places these are minor and didn't spoil the writing for me. I didn't find this one as much as a mystery as some of the others I have read (I have also read books 5 & 6) but this one is still well worth a read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic writer read all her books everyone thrilling to readPublished 14 days ago by pauline brewer
I enjoyed reading it but the story was quite predictable. Nowhere as good as Jo Nesbo but still ok.Published 1 month ago by Clarabou
Just love the way the stories are written, keeping you turning pages until you reach the end. Only then do you know the full story!Published 4 months ago by Anne