Title: The Stone-Cutter
Author: Camilla Läckberg
Genre: Euro Crime
Standalone/Series: Series (Book 3)
Release: Out now in Hardback
The remote resort of Fjallbacka has seen its share of tragedy, though perhaps none worse than that of the little girl found in a fisherman’s net. But the post-mortem reveals that this is no accidental drowning! Local detective Patrik Hedstrom has just become a father. It is his grim task to discover who could be behind the methodical murder of a child both he and his partner, Erica, knew well. He knows the solution lies with finding a motive for this terrible crime. What he does not know is how this case will reach into the dark heart of Fjallbacka and tear aside its idyllic facade, perhaps forever.
Blurbs are by their nature there to sell you a book and to do that they have to get you interested and ‘tearing asisde [an] idyllic facade’ is a phrase that seems overly dramatic especially as Fjallbacka has more secrets to tell. But tear apart Läckberg does and we’re left knowing that there is one more tale to tell.
There are two things going on in Läckberg’s books. One is a murder investigation and the other is the developing relationship between Erica and Patrik. So its half drama and half whodunit. Actually it’s all drama that just happens to centre around a murder. And I love her for that.
Instead of seeing a murder through the sole eyes of the investigator you get to see it from everyones eyes including the murder and you get to see the build up to the crime and in that is case that goes back to 1923.
Läckberg manages to have the narrators tell their own truth and omitting certain information that would incriminate them. And she does it with you feeling like there is something missing. I think that’s because all the character have their own secrets and their own thoughts and we mostly see the surface ones and they usually relate to the scene that is playing out.
And ‘trick’ is brilliant as a couple of the threads made no sense to me for most the time until the pay off and it all clicked into place.
If The Preacher was funny, I found little to laugh at in this one, but the humour comes from the characters especially Erica but her new baby isn’t making them into the perfect family so her usual fun self is down and depressed. But again Läckberg makes give her a journey and she sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
The darkness in The Stone-Cutter doesn’t only come from the first death being a child but also the humanity or lack of it from most of the characters. They are each in their loathsome but each have redeeming qualities that makes them human. I say the death rather than victims as there more victims but more deaths as well.
This isn’t a book to be reading if you are in a fragile state of mind instead Läckberg again shows the darkness and the light that we all have though the light here is weak it does enough for you to see why we struggle in life for horrible moments.
Even though there is a change of tone here. This shows a leap in Läckberg as a storyteller. She puts complete faith in her characters and they reward her by living and breathing and being believable. There is a slight problem though with having this dark threads as good as they are. I almost wanted one less ‘bad’ character. I needed someone to champion to the end. And I almost had one but Läckberg took that away from me.
It shows courage and a skill to take me on an emotional journey and when I got to the end she gave me a reason to want to learn Swedish straight away.
Fjallbacka has suddenly become a much darker place. Läckberg has jumped up a stage as a story tell or should that be delves deeper ash she takes us down into a darker place. For me she’s moved from an Ice-Princess to a Cold-Crime-Queen.
I hope she is going to keep her cool with The Jinx and from the ending of this one I know it’s going to change Erica, and maybe Patrik forever.