I’m embarking on what I like to call a “crime spree” and I’m taking another tour through the crime/mystery realm of books. In the next few posts, in addition to this Swedish crime novel, I’ll be reading a fictionalized account of a true crime story, a journalist’s account of crime in Baltimore over the course of a year, and an Elmore Leonard novel (he’s his own genre by now, I think, based on how prolific he is).
So, up first was The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg which had great reviews but I overall found lacking. Erica Falck, a writer, ends up investigating the death of her childhood friend who’s an ice princess in all senses of the word (dies in a frozen bathtub, is cold and emotionally withholding). There are a decent number of twists and turns, but I felt that the red herrings were a little too obvious so by the end, you knew what was up.
Also, I can’t really say anymore in detail without giving everything away, but there was a plot point that irritated me because it was almost medically infeasible. Aside from that, I think my main problem with the book was that there was minimal character development, they felt like sketches of real people. For me, what distinguishes the Dragon Tattoo series or Tana French novels is how real, and honest, and unique the characters feel. You get a real sense for what the characters will do next, and why, and it makes it feel meaningful.
While this book was a reasonably compelling mystery, it was missing that…spark that makes me want to read more of an author’s novels.