Fjallbacka is a picturesque seaside fishing village that has changed as the fishing fleet thinned, young people moved away, and wealthy weekenders pushed the price of charming old homes through the roof (often remodeling much of their history away).
Eilert Berg supplements his meager pension from fishing by checking weekly on Alexandra’s weekend home. Alex is not one of the regular wealthy investors; she grew up in this home then moved away when still in adolescence. The home stayed in the family after they moved, tended but unused, until Alex made it her getaway place. She likes to know things will be in order when she arrives for the weekend and Eilert welcomes the extra income, plus he likes being needed.
It is cold and icy, normal for winter in Sweden, when Eilert stops by for his weekly inspection. Immediately he feels something is wrong. The furnace is off and the house is deathly cold. Eilert goes from room to room checking, putting the bathroom off to last, where he finds Alex frozen in the tub with her blond hair cascading over the edge and the red blood from her wrists pooled on the floor. Shaken by his discovery, he hurries away, encountering Erica Falck out for a walk. Erica summons the doctor, everyone assumes it is suicide.
Erica is not easy with the situation, why would Alex commit suicide? She is beautiful, wealthy, successful, married to a handsome man who adores her. Questions mount, Erica is drawn into the investigation as detective Patrick Hedstrom attempts to find answers. Patrick is pleased to be seeing Erica; he has had a crush on her since childhood. Now in their 30’s, they are finding out that they quite like each other.— Deon Stonehouse
July 2010 Indie Next List
“This book is not just a truly gripping crime novel, but also an exploration of the hidden depths and forgotten secrets of a small community. Like the very best crime fiction, The Ice Princess is as much about discovering the truth of the characters as it is about discovering the truth of 'whodunnit'.”
— Billie Bloebaum, Powell's Books At PDX, Portland, OR
“A top-notch thriller, one of the best of the genre” (Minneapolis Star Tribune) from international crime-writing sensation Camilla Läckberg tells the story of brutal murders in a small Swedish fishing village, and the shattering, decades-old secrets that precipitated them.
In this electrifying tale of suspense from an international crime-writing sensation, a grisly death exposes the dark heart of a Scandinavian seaside village. Erica Falck returns to her tiny, remote hometown of Fjällbacka, Sweden, after her parents’ deaths only to encounter another tragedy: the suicide of her childhood best friend, Alex. It’s Erica herself who finds Alex’s body—suspended in a bathtub of frozen water, her wrists slashed. Erica is bewildered: Why would a beautiful woman who had it all take her own life? Teaming up with police detective Patrik Hedström, Erica begins to uncover shocking events from Alex’s childhood. As one horrifying fact after another comes to light, Erica and Patrik’s curiosity gives way to obsession—and their flirtation grows into uncontrollable attraction. But it’s not long before one thing becomes very clear: a deadly secret is at stake, and there’s someone out there who will do anything—even commit murder—to protect it.
Fans of Scandinavian greats Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell will devour Camilla Läckberg’s penetrating portrait of human nature at its darkest.
“Masterful suspense…. Läckberg combines her gift for intriguingly complicated plots and her keen understanding of even the 'grotesques' who live among us. Both erotic and terrifying. I couldn't sift the killer(s) from the suspects although I read obsessively. An absolute must for mystery lovers!”