on 17 January 2014
7th heaven, well at least for a Camilla Läckberg's fan; here is yet another padded book about the good folk of Fjällbacka. Tried and tested formula that again delivers; indeed it is only 2 books ago that I finished number 6 but the covers show another million books sold.
She must be doing something right and I as a fan, I can appreciate the quality of her writing and the depth of her novels.
However, this book continues the process of extending her canvas with the drama spilling out beyond Gothenburg, into Stockholm and back over to Denmark.
So much happens that enriches the storytelling, but this makes for a gemtle read until the final 100 or so pages when the threads come together. One always senses these intersections but mystery always prevails with a late surprise or two. Indeed it would be folly to try to work out the plot as it gently meanders for so long with detail other authors would never spend time on. In part this dilutes the thrills but strangely also hightens the shock, as much of the book is about normal life albeit influenced by secrets.
a main theme here is broken relationships; violent partners and domestic abuse; there are moments of joy but for some an enduring sorrow which isn't glossed over. In the process we are able to reflect, consider and contemplate our own relationships and influences on our lives.
The rock steady family is that of Patrik and Erica, but all the characters are well drawn and people are human, making mistakes and most having redeeeming qualities. There is much dispair at times and dark crimes but the story aborbs them all to provide a worthwhile read.
My first book of 2014; by default the best book I have read this year; also a frustration as this is a book I couldn't rush it is like spending time with a favourite family member. I am a fan but wouldn't read many books if my diet didn't also extend wider. Read as part of a reading challenge but also as a remainder of why I enjoy the pleasures reading brings.
This novel will last in my memories long into the new year.
on 17 March 2013
I pre-ordered this book in September as I absolutely love this series (which for full enjoyment must be read from the beginning as Patrik and Erica's life builds) and was very worried that Camilla Lackberg had decided to end it. The book came on 14 March and I couldn't wait to devour it. However, it's a strange one. For the lovers of supernatural you will love it. The Ghost Isle comes into the book frequently with a tale of the past and then coming back to the present. I found this book quite hauntingly sad. However, saying that the usual characters are present and the way in which Camilla Lackberg writes you can easily imagine what these people would be like e.g. some bumbling fools and others brilliantly strong characters. I love the constant references to Ernst the dog. Do read the book but as I mentioned earlier read in order to fully enjoy. Camilla Lackberg is a brilliant writer and brilliant storyteller and I would thoroughly recommend all of her books. You won't be disappointed.
on 25 September 2013
I have read previous novels of the author. The Lost Boy is very well written, but somewhat different from previous novels. The tone of the novel can be described as being sombre from the opening pages. Erica's sister Anna is suffering from a huge loss. The bonding between the sister is lovely to admire. The bonding between Patrick and Erica is much stronger due to the the tragic events. I would recommend to read previous novels of the author. It would help to familiarise with the characters. The novels are linked. Mixing domestic and chilling events is what makes the author unique. I rarely see this feature in crime fiction novels I have read of various authors. This adds depth to the novel. Duty calls for Patrik, as a financial director Mats has been found murdered. How does he cope in the workplace? Mats was a mysterious character. I do not want to provide details about the background of the character, as it would act as a major spoiler. The author know how to keep readers enthralled for long periods. She is a talented writer. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel despite differences from previous novels.
on 9 July 2013
I love Camilla Lackberg books and was really pleased to get this one and to get stuck into it straight away given the cliff hanger ending of the preceding book in the series. As usual I enjoyed the writing, I like to read about the minutiae of peoples lives, all the little details that make them who they are. But, unfortunately there were no surprises for me in this book: I seem to have guessed just about every "revelation" really early on and that was a bit of a disappointment. Also, there were a few loose ends which just seemed to be left hanging and I wondered why they were part of the plot to start with if there was to be no resolution of them. Anyway, I still will read any new offerings from this author, I just hope the twists in the plot are not so obviously signposted.
on 18 March 2013
A disappointment compared to the captivating works by Ms. Läckberg earlier in the series.
I felt that the writing was getting a bit lazy, certain things were not explained properly and the twist of the plot was not as surprising and exciting as in her earlier works.
Why was the one and only friend of Mats Sverin never contacted by Hedström and his team? In fact, it was not even mentioned that it occurred to the characters' minds. Considering that they were trying to investigate the intensely private victim, you would think they would grab the chance at establishing contact with this friend, especially since he was known through another contact which featured during the investigation.
Another point was, there was no explanation about the ending of the historical sub-story, especially in relation to the elderly lady.
The storyline, and thus the conclusion of the ''family'', during this historical thread was also pretty obvious.
I thought it was a pointless thread to bring in the two investors of the Project Badis. They did nothing whatsoever and didn't even serve to act as a twist in the plot - they were just pointless.
All-in-all, a disappointing publication after waiting almost a year for this next installment....
on 1 June 2015
I loved this book. Camilla Läckberg is seriously twisted. Even tho I didn't know who dunnit, i did guess the twist before the half way mark, that said it still didn't make the revelation any less shocking due to her stunning and haunting writing style. Her characters are so indepth. Mellberg is just the best, even tho he doesn't often have much to do with the plot, i do love reading his story unfold throughout the series. I recently visited Fjällbacka, it's an amazingly picturesque little village. You can go on a muder tour when Camilla's victims have been scattered around. It was impressive seeing the diving tower where Christian was found hanged in 'The Drowning'. Never stop writing this series Camilla.
On the positive side, Camilla Lackberg’s latest Patrik Hedström/Erica Falck novel, the 7th to be translated into English, here by Tiina Nunnally, begins with ‘It was only when she placed her hands on the steering wheel that she saw they were bloody’. 500 Pages later we find out why.
The police investigation is set in and around the Swedish resort of Fjällbacka, but the author includes the harrowing family story of Erica, her sister, Anna, and their families that picks up from the end of the last novel, ‘The Drowning’. For this reason, whilst these detective stories can be read as ‘stand-alones’, to benefit fully from the series it would be better to read them in order. Despite my less-than-enthusiastic comments on this book, the author has a prodigious talent for writing engrossing reads.
In ‘The Lost Boy’ we also have stories about the public and private funding of the soon-to-be-reopened local Badhotel spa, and the relationships between those behind the scheme, a number of crime stories involving motorcycle gangs, drug-dealing and violence against women, and – least successful in my opinion– a historical narrative about late 19th-century life on the island of Gråskär, Ghost Isle, and its lighthouse.
Whilst Lackberg is usually very good at integrating such diverse stories, here she appears to have rather lost her touch – in part because of the number of characters that are involved but also because the stories are given roughly equal weight. By setting the historical story on an island, Lackberg limits its numbers but at the expense of a great deal of repetition of ghostly noises and interpersonal unpleasantness, and tip-toeing around the central ‘mystery’. It does not help that the relationship between the lighthouse keepers, Karl and Julian, and the former’s young wife, Emelie, is two-dimensional, leading to a final revelation that is hardly revelatory.
When an author becomes as successful as Lackberg, ’10 million books sold’, it presumably becomes more difficult for editors to suggest excisions and propose changes. I have read that Lackberg is also much involved with other business ventures and this may have contributed to a lack of attention to literary detail that is so evident here.
The police team, ‘led’ by Bertil Mellberg but with Patrik very much the prime mover seemed to be sleepwalking through a procedural routine that was much less interesting than the family relationships of its team members. Even though the family story around Patrik and Erica, Anna and her husband, Dan, is gut-wrenching, it is confused by the family members that we have to deal with – Dan’s daughters, Belinda and Malin, Patrik’s mother, Kristina, babysitting for Lisen, Adrian, Emma and Maja, and Erica’s new twins, Anton and Noel. Too much, too much!
On the other hand, there was thought-provoking information about a Woman’s Refuge, its relationship with the police and social authorities, and the arguments for and against its use of male employees or volunteers.
I would certainly suggest that new readers read the author’s earlier books and can only hope that the next book in the series will reveal Lackberg fully focused on her writing and back to her best.
on 12 September 2013
- A Predictable Plot !
- Too many unanswered questions !
- Lots of contradictions, ( in the story, and in the way some characters behaved ) ! The one, that really made me regret reading this book, was : Page 488 "Mats toss the paper bag in the litter bin". Mats, the only realistic character ( and hero ) in this book ( up until this point ), was the one who threw the bag of cocaine in the bin ???
- The sob story about the Badis Project was unnecessary, and unrealistic.
- The execution scene in the forest was also unnecessary, and too theatrical for my taste.
- And finally, too many incompetent, and stupid police officers in this book.