REVIEW: THE ICE CHILD BY CAMILLA LACKBERG

Due to time restraints, reviews on this site will simply comprise a book blurb and a short response.
y648

I’ve been a fan of Camilla Lackberg’s psychological thrillers for a few years now, and I enjoy the characters she’s created in Detective Patrick Hedstrom and writer Erica Falck, as well as other recurring characters. You can read this as a standalone novel, but it’s always helpful if you’ve read the earlier ones so you better understand the characters’ histories. Here’s the blurb:

January, Fjällbacka. A semi-naked girl wanders through the woods in freezing cold weather. When she finally reaches the road, a car comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t manage to stop. By the time Detective Patrik Hedström receives word of the accident, the girl has already been identified. Four months ago she disappeared on her way home from the local riding school, and no one has seen her since. It quickly becomes clear that she has been subjected to unimaginably brutal treatment. And it’s likely she’s not the only one. Meanwhile, Patrik’s wife, crime writer Erica Falck, is looking into an old case – a family tragedy that led to a man’s death. His wife was convicted of murder, but Erica senses that something isn’t right. What is the woman hiding? As Erica digs deeper, the past starts to cast a shadow over the present and Patrik is forced to see his investigation in a whole new light.

Another good novel from Lackberg, with a chilling storyline matched by even more chilling victims. I enjoyed picking up with recurring characters where they left off last time, and seeing them develop further – one character, the police boss who’s presented as a bit of a duffer, shows a warm side that I hadn’t noticed before.

However, I did feel that this book wasn’t quite of the same standard as earlier books. Some of the loose ends didn’t tie up neatly for me, I figured out where the story was going quite early on, and I didn’t think there was enough explanation for a couple of the psychopaths’ evil actions. Perhaps I was being picky. Other things worked well for me – the recurring characters, as mentioned, and the sense of the icy atmosphere that was getting under everyone’s skin. It’s gripping, but stops short of mind-blowing crime.

Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99AUD). My copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.