Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg (RIP #1)

Book Summary (from the back of the book)

Returning to her hometown for her parents' funeral, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. A childhod friend's body is found in an icy bath, her wrists slashed -but was it really suicide?

Meanwhile, local detective Patrick Hedström is following his own suspicions about the case. It's only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past...

My review

This is my first R.I.P VII review, and I first I wasn't sure if it would qualify to the challenge. But...with the chills I got towards the end, I thought it should.

If you guys check my reviews, you will notice that I love Scandinavian Novel Noirs...they are just so...noir. I love The Hypnotist  and Sun Storm,  and, even though I didn't review it in this blog, I'm a fan of the Millenium Trilogy.

Part of it is because I dream of going to Sweden and hopefully doing my PostDoc there, but also because so far I have not been disappointed with this genre. At the same time all of this books had been quite different, at least in the way they build their suspense.

In this book, Alex a childhood friend of Erica (one of the main characters) is found dead, and this triggers a lot of revealing of deep secrets. The first chapters are opened by a couple of pages written in first person, but most of the book is written in third person, jumping from one character to the other, but all in the same mesh.

In the first pages you know it wasn't a suicide (well, you kind of knew from the summary, didn't you?), but no only for the medical examination, but because of how Alex is described

       Alex was fragile [...] An inner strength is required for someone to decide to take her own life. She didn't have that kind of strenght"

Harsh words, don't you agree? but trough the book you will realize that they are not necessarily true.

As I mentioned at first I wasn't sure this could qualify as a book for R.I.P, but as you dig deeper in Alex's life and the people around them you keep discovering more and more secrets, and every time you think you have the killer...well, you don't.

There was a couple of twists that I saw coming...but at the same time, I kept telling myself -"No Caro, you are just far fetching too much, that just doesn't add up"- And did!

It was different, the tiny stories around the main one kept me wanting to know more about the side characters, and that's the main reason why I really want to read the sequel. Also, because it was well written. I never know how much is lost or gain in translation (I keep wondering the same thing about 1Q84 ) but since I don't speak fluent Swedish yet, we will stay with the premise that is very good writing/translation team.

So, did I like the book? YES! I did, I took it with me to New York recently, and I was actually sad about being so tired that I could not read one single page. If you like this genre, this is definitely one saga to follow.


  1. It certainly sounds very appropriate for R.I.P. Mystery and noir? Most definitely fits!

    I haven't read any books by Swedish authors myself but like you whenever I read a translated book I wonder just how much the nuances of the story get through. So far, with author's like Murakami, I've been really impressed though with the translated books I've read.

    Speaking of Sweden, are you going to watch the new episodes of Wallander that start tonight?

    1. Oh I loved 1Q84 from Murakami, the first one I ever read from him. You know? is the first time I've ever heard of Wallander, but it looks like the kind of thing I would enjoy. I will certainly try to give it a try :S if my hectic schedule lets me!

  2. I haven't read that Murakami yet, but I've enjoyed every thing of his I have read (After Dark, After the Fall, Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, The Elephant Vanishes). Wallander is a really moody, melancholy detective show based on a series of books by Henning Mankell. I like them. The scenery is beautiful in a stark way and Kenneth Branaugh does an excellent job with the lead role.