REVIEW: THE ICE PRINCESS By Camilla Lackberg

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Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past. 

 

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Camilla Lackberg has been high on my list of authors I need to read. After discovering I needed to start at the beginning and read the series in order (thanks Chelsea at TheSuspenseisThrillingMe & Abby at CrimeBytheBook 🙂 I was happy I was able to snag this at my local library! The story begins with the discovery of Alex Wijkner’s dead body which is found frozen in her bathtub and at first glance looks to be suicide. Questions about whether it was suicide or murder, however, quickly arise. Writer Erica Falck , who was a childhood friend of Alex and also found her body, is pulled deeper into the mystery of Alex’s death when she is asked by Alex’s parents to write about her life. As she delves deeper into Alex’s past, she begins to realize her childhood friend harbored many secrets.

In the course of her “investigation” Alex runs into another childhood friend, Patrik Hedstrom, who’s now a detective and running the official police investigation into Alex’s death. It seems Patrik had a crush on Erica when they were growing up, and now recently divorced, his interest in her is immediately rekindled and the two begin to share information on Alex’s death. I have to say, I thought Patrik was the most well-developed character in the book. I liked him right away and really hoped his feelings for Erica would be reciprocated. I did, however, wonder about him sharing details of the police investigation with Erica…I’m not convinced a police detective in the real world would do that.

Along with the main storyline of Alex’s death, there were threads of other subplots weaved throughout the story, some relevant and at least one not so much. I thought the subplot involving Erica’s sister Anna actually broke up the narrative flow of the story when it was brought in. The other subplots I found intriguing and wondered how they would end up being tied to the resolution of the mystery. Then, when another person with key ties to Alex’s death is also found dead, things began to get very interesting.

I found myself thoroughly enjoying the set up of the mysteries and the key players, right up until about the halfway mark and then, for me, the pace seemed to slow down and I felt there was quite a bit of extraneous details about the characters personal feelings and emotional states which often left me feeling pretty bored. The ending was somewhat of a disappointment as I had most of the mystery figured out. I also thought the way those who were guilty was revealed was extremely neat and tidy; thorough confessions by the guilty come across as very unrealistic to me. That being said, I’m very interested in seeing where the author takes Patrik in the future so I do plan on picking up the next installment in the series sometime in the near future.

3/5 Stars

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15 thoughts on “REVIEW: THE ICE PRINCESS By Camilla Lackberg

  1. I have had the author on my wish list for almost 6 months! It was recommended to me many times but I haven’t found the time to pick her books. It’s too bad the second part of the book was a disappointment, I hate when it happens. The beginning gets you hooked and you start caring about characters when suddenly the story lets you down a bit. Great review.

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    1. Thanks Donna! Yes I’m glad I read it because I felt like I was missing out on a very popular author. I’m not giving up on the series even though the 2nd half was disappointing, I’ve heard her books get better as the series goes

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    1. I’m slowly moving through mine, I really wanted to try Camilla Lackberg and Val McDermid this year and I accomplished that just in the nick of time:) Of the 2 I liked Out of Bounds better. My reading is lagging so I might do a top 10 of 2016 soon as well as a post of top authors/books I want to read in 2017. Have you narrowed down your top TBR’s for the new year?

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      1. Not yet, I need to get organised. Firstly I want to lower my review copies (it’s currently 20+ books, not including netgalley. I need to find the balance as there’s so many of my own books I want to read. I think I’m going to spend the first part of the year clearing them and I need to become stricter with accepting them, sometimes I feel bad saying no 🙈 or the synopsis sound so good I HAVE to read it but I feel under pressure now and it’s not fun – lesson learnt 🙁. I’ve used your comments section as a space to vent, haha, sorry.

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      2. Ha, no problem, that’s what blogging friends are for:) I sometimes wish I had received more review copies this year but then I remember that I don’t do well with feeling like I HAVE to read verses reading whatever I’m in the mood for. I learned that after I was a reviewer for Bookreporter.com in the past. I prefer to read and review at my own pace which I need to remember once I get my net galley shelf cleared off:) Good luck paring down your review piles as well!!

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    1. Thank you and You’ve hit it exactly, I spent the second half of the book trying to figure out why I was starting not to care and I think it comes down to the overuse of details and characters inner reflections as well as the subplot with her sister. Then when the guilty parties up and confess everything that seems just too easy and convenient. Thanks for stopping by and commenting:)

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  2. My feelings exactly! While I love the setting and these characters, the first one is not the best in my opinion! But I’m glad you want to continue, they’re all so fun to read!!

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  3. I have never heard of this author or book but it does sound really interesting.I get why the book didn’t meet your expectations though.The unrealistic bit and the detective revealing details of the investigation really don’t sound good.Great review though.

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    1. Thanks Diana! Sometimes 3 star reviews are the hardest for me to write, while I liked this well enough I didn’t love it. Hopefully each book in the series gets better.

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