TITLE: THE ICE PRINCESS
AUTHOR: CAMILLA LACKBERG
Details: no. 1 Patrik Hedstrom & Erica Falck
Erica Falck, a writer, has returned to her hometown after her parent's death to deal with the parental home when she finds the body of her one time best friend. Alex, the friend, is found frozen in a bath with her wrists slashed. But, what at first appears to be a suicide soon turns into a murder investigation.
Despite her grieve over her parent's death and other family issues, Erica can't help being fascinated with the murder of her childhood friend and decides to look into to it. An investigation which brings back memories of how the friendship suddenly and inexplicably ended when the two girls were about nine.
The police investigation is mainly conducted by Patrik Hedstrom, also a long time friend of Erica's and one who has always had a soft spot for Erica.
When Patrik and Erica start working together, they soon discover that the little town they grew up in and thought they knew inside-out holds several shocking and potentially lethal secrets. Secrets which have their roots about 25 years in the past but still have the power to rule and end lives in the present.
This was a very interesting if dark mystery, but I did found the story a bit slow. That may well be because this is the first book in a series featuring Patrik Hedstrom and Erica Falck which means that the characters and their backgrounds had to be established. For me though this meant that at times too much time was taken away from the investigation and focused on other areas, which slowed the reading down I felt.
There were also occasions when I felt that the story just didn't flow as smoothly as it might have. This could be because this is a translation from Swedish, or because the book could have done with more editing, I'm not sure, but it also added to the slowing down of the reading experience.
There were also several parts of the mystery I had solved well before the main characters.
Having said all of that though, the mystery and characters in this book grabbed me enough for me to want to read at least the second book in the series. I'm hoping to find that my issues with this book were due to teething problems and other first in series niggles, and that Lackberg's mysteries will get ever better from here on.
To be continued.....