Monday, April 2, 2012

Though No Mystery Fan, Gerald Says This Book Is "compelling and wonderfully written."

THE grisly suspense and heart-stopping drama of Camilla Läckberg’s acclaimed debut, The Ice Princess, catapulted her to the #1 spot on bestseller lists in Europe and around the world. Now, in her second installment in the series that has sold nearly ten million copies worldwide, the Swedish crime-writing phenomenon returns to the tiny fishing village of Fjällbacka, where a series of unsolved murders have lain nearly forgotten for a generation—until the sadistic killer suddenly begins claiming fresh victims. As the town erupts in panic, detective Patrik Hedström and his pregnant girlfriend, Erica Falck, find themselves launching a desperate manhunt to track down the true murderer before another life is lost.

In the harrowing, spellbinding tradition of the best Scandinavian thrillers, The Preacher ruthlessly cuts to the bleak heart of human evil, revealing that narrowest of lines between fear and forgiveness.

Gerald says:
"I am not a very frequent reader of mysteries; it surprises me that such a squeamish and 'sensitive' reader as myself would be recommending one that centered around a sadistic group of murders.  However, I found The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg compelling and wonderfully written.

The slow method of death here brilliantly functions to create a sense of urgency for a recent murder where a young murdered girl was found with the bones of two victims murdered in 1979, when shortly after the discovery of the latest victim a girl vacationing in the Swedish town goes missing.  Now every clue from past and present must be explored with the clock ticking.  Against this urgency to find the connections between
past and present there are delays and frustrations that are in part due to the wonderful characters, both those on the police force working to solve a crime they may not be experienced enough to handle and the almost impenetrable family tinged forever by the original unsolved murders who are now the key to finding the murderer.  The delays are also in part also due to a masterful sense of the mundane clock of modern police procedure.

A miasma seems to have struck the sons of a famous free church preacher and healer that must be understood to solve the crime.  In the 1979 murders, one brother seemingly gave testimony against his brother who is found hanged.  This pollution creates a strange and wonderful mix of characters who now must be under suspicion.  My personal favorite is the wife of the man found hanged who has ballooned into a greasy caricature of her beauty queen days, passing her time rearranging the photos of her youth and providing alibis for her hoodlum sons. The rich cast of suspects varies from the seemingly out of control to the tightly wound and emotionally cold, all who may provide the solution to the murders and location of the missing girl."

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