One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family. Her inquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. Two days later he meets a violent death. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old?
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I intend to go back and read them in order from the beginning. I enjoyed this book as I did the other book I read. The characters have faults and virtues and behave like real people.
There is detail about the lives of the characters but that adds to the enjoyment. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. Two days later he meets a violent death.
Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old? To me, it was a fairly standard mystery. I enjoyed some of the the daily-life exchanges, and found I was interested in the characters.
I enjoyed reading the details of their lives. I found her reactions - and they are key to the story - unconvincing, in part because they were too extreme, IMO. The discovery of who killed the old man did not particularly surprise me, but there was one good, satisfying twist. Altogether, it was a bit disappointing, really. In it, we have the fifth appearance of writer Erica Falck and policeman Hedstrom, now the parents of a year-old daughter, and at last married.
While each tries to unravel these mysteries, they have to work out how parenting works Patrik is taking parental leave! At the same time, the cast of characters at the police station reappears, pursuing interests of their own. The book is highly suspenseful, and the interweaving of past and present adds to that, for me. And the characters remain likeable, interesting, and at times very funny.
Erica takes the medal to a neighbor who was a former history teacher in the hopes of being able to track down its origin. Two days later, the neighbor is murdered. The story switches back and forth between the modern day mystery searching for the killer and the same town, Fjallbacka during WWII when many residents were supporting the Norwegian resistance against the Nazis.
The mystery aspect of the story was good, but I think the real attraction to this series is the relationships between the different police detectives and other people in the town. Definitely engaging and a good enough mystery to interest me in more.
One special benefit was that I listened to this book and it was narrated by Simon Vance, the narrator of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Just love his Swedish accent! I was burned out on them years ago, but there are a few authors that make the cut for me and Camilla Lackberg is one of them. Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on Sept. It can stand alone though. Some of the characters have storylines that continue from previous books but I was able to follow along without having read all the other books.
This book had so many characters that it was hard to keep them all straight, especially listening to the audio book. He did have a great dramatic tone and read with emotion. I actually enjoyed the subplots involving the secondary characters more than I enjoyed the murder mystery that was the center of the plot. The timeline kept bothering me. So I much preferred reading about the police chief falling in love and learning to salsa dance and the police woman who was starting a family.
The peaceful atmosphere of Fjallbacka is shattered one day when a murder victim is discovered by two young boys. Patrick works for the police department investigating the case, but he is on paternity leave. Coincidentally, Erika finds that she is acquainted with the victim, Erik Frankel, a quiet, retired history professor with a special interest in World War II.
Part of the story takes place in , at the time of World War II. Although Sweden is not occupied, German troops are in control in nearby Norway. Some brave men are engaged in an effort to smuggle people out of that country. It is a terrible time, a time when madness reigns and men are sometimes driven mad by what they see and experience.
He had escaped from Norway. Frans, Erik and Axel come from the better side of town and Elsy and Britta from the poorer side. All kinds of prejudice existed at the time, and their different social class makes their friendship unusual.
However, the characters all grow into their jobs and their lives, admirably, as time passes. Although it is part of a series, it stands well on its own. Erika and Patrick are characters that endeared themselves to me. So many of the quirky characters were charming and the dialog between the characters felt so natural and real with their honest expression of feelings and the injection of humor into their conversations, that I felt like I was a fly on the wall, listening in and watching the scenes unfold in real time.
Although there were many unlikely coincidences, they were handled deftly by the author, woven so smoothly into the tale, they just naturally seemed to fall into place. I enjoyed the way the plot twisted and turned and kept me guessing as the mystery unfolded. I was engaged by all of the characters, complete with the dog, and although some were not very likeable, all were simply human beings behaving as humans do, subject to their follies and foibles, subject to the realities of life, to its unexpected fortunes and misfortunes, compassion and malevolence.
I did find it a little contrived throughout the book because practically every societal issue arose in one form or another. Every character had some kind of an issue from sexual to domestic abuse, infidelity to divorce, gender issues to prejudice encompassing sexual preference, class and ethnic purity, from immaturity to insecurity, and it covered family relationships and dysfunction in all its forms.
Still, each incident felt that it was true to form in the way that it was exposed. If you like a good murder mystery steeped in historic fiction and flavored with romance in its many forms, this book is surely for you. This author has a gift. She makes even the goriest of scenes easy to read because they play out with realistic description rather than sensational explanation meant simply to arouse the reader.
There s a lightness, a friendliness, kind of a comfort zone feeling in her words and presentation. She is never crass. And as a yummy aside, like Erika, I love chocolate caramels and I ate them right along with her! To chocolate covered caramels, long may they live! Writer Erica Falck has been a stay-at-home mom for a year. Her husband Patrik, a detective, is taking paternity leave so that Erica can get back to writing.
Patrik has a hard time with his paternity leave and ends up leaving his one-year-old daughter with staff at the department so he can participate in a murder investigation. There are a lot of characters in the novel, but Lackberg does a good job of keeping them straight and separating the intertwining stories.
Simon Vance does an excellent narration. Do the Swiss have more sexual assaults or misogynists than other countries? I like Swedish crime novels, but either I keep choosing the ones with rape scenes or they have an inordinate number of crime novels that include sexual assaults. I expected this novel to not have one because of the type of crime the main character investigated, and I was hoping that a female author would not feel the need to include a sexual assault in her book.
I did guess the conclusion about half the way through but I was quite happy with that. The medal will have a central role in this book, as Erica tries to learn more about the mother she never really knew or understood. The motive for the murder was evident as the novel neared its climax, but I had to wait for the reveal to find out which one of the remaining suspects was the murderer.
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