If you follow my blog you may have seen that I reviewed Camilla Lackberg’s The Drowning a while ago. In the review I mentioned that I loved the book but was confused by the ending. Some kind readers pointed out to me that actually this book is part of a series based in the same village and featuring the same main characters. Oops.
Normally I hate the idea of starting a series part-way through and so I was initially a bit put out. However, in this case I really enjoyed reading The Drowning on its own merits. With hindsight I can see that there were numerous little hints scattered through the book about the characters’ past lives, which I had assumed were either there simply to add a bit of depth to a minor character (a technique which I actually liked very much) or would be revealed in full later in the book if it was important. When a lot of these little sub-sub-plots were not revealed at the end of the book, and I was left with an enormous cliff-hanger, no wonder I was mystified. Once I knew I was dealing with a whole series of novels, I was determined to read the lot.
Having now finished book one, The Ice Princess, I’m pretty sure I’m on to a winner. It’s just as good as The Drowning in terms of the writing quality. Story-wise, I think I preferred the latter overall, but I was still gripped. It’s another clever crime drama, with the emphasis on the drama, with numerous twists and turns to keep the identity of the killer a secret until the very end.
A beautiful, well-to-do young woman, Alexandra, is found dead in her holiday home in Fjällabacka: the house she grew up in. Erica, one of the main characters in the series, is one of the first to find her body and is not only, understandably, disturbed by the experience, but finds herself becoming personally involved in finding out whether Alex took her own life or was murdered, and in discovering more about Alex herself, who she knew at school. She also grows closer to Patrik, a police officer working on the case, who she also knew from her childhood days.
It was fascinating to find out more about the characters I’d grown fond of during The Drowning – even though I know where they will end up, the process of their journey in getting there could take any number of routes. A number of their personal triumphs and tragedies have already been suggested during The Drowning, but I’m looking forward to discovering more about the whys and wherefores.
While I like reading a series in order, I also feel the need to have a break between each book, otherwise I get a sense of overkill. When I read different books between each instalment, it feels like I’m coming to each novel with fresh eyes – as if it’s a stand-alone book which still has a comforting sense of familiarity about it. So I’ll be having a little gap before reading the next (The Preacher) I suspect, even though I’m looking forward to it!