Book Review: The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg

The Ice Princess by Camilla LackbergIf 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!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marie
    Aug 11, 2012 @ 22:38:29

    You’re in for a treat! I absolutely love this series and The Preacher is my favourite of them all 🙂 I definitely think you will get much more out of it by reading the series in order (and I don’t tend to think that about many book series).


    • TheBrontëSister
      Aug 11, 2012 @ 22:56:24

      Ooh that’s great to hear! Maybe I won’t have quite as big a gap between books as I was intending then!

      That’s interesting that you don’t tend to worry about book series and reading them in order… totally the opposite approach from me! What series have you read (and enjoyed) out of order?


      • Marie
        Aug 13, 2012 @ 10:32:21

        I guess I should have specified ‘crime’ series. I have read many Scandinavian crime series out of order – The Kurt Wallander books, Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo, Karin Fossum to name but a few! I suppose usually the individual crime takes centre stage for each novel rather than the ongoing daily lives of the main characters. In Lackberg’s books both aspects are equally important.

  2. Linda Bott
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 13:12:07

    I love this series of books and I think it does need to be read in sequence due to the relationships between the major characters. I was devastated by the cliffhanger at the end of The Drowning and can’t wait until the next book, if there is to be one


    • TheBrontëSister
      Aug 12, 2012 @ 16:42:48

      It’s an interesting question isn’t it? I think most people like to read series in order, but I’m starting to realise it’s not the end of the world if you don’t! There’s definitely a ‘next’ book – I think it’s coming out (in English) next spring…


  3. thewordsarechasingme
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 13:11:54

    I have this in my ‘to read’ pile. I usually manage to pick books up part way through the series, though I sometimes find it harder to go back and re the ones I’ve missed. I shall be sharing my thoughts with you it , after I’ve read it , that is if you don’t mind


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