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.  More

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Book Review: The Drowning by Camilla Läckberg

The Drowning by Camilla LackbergAnonymous letters.  A mysterious murderess with long black hair.  Four friends with a dark secret in their past.  A small, close community who are intent on getting to the bottom of the ever-stranger turn of events.  What more could you want from a novel?  Perhaps a cast of characters who are all-too real, their interactions and reactions meticulously and sensitively observed?  You’ve got it.

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Book Review: Skin Games by Adam Pepper

Skin Games by Adam PepperSkin Games is the latest novel by self-published writer Adam Pepper.  Set in a rough neighbourhood in the Bronx, it’s a world away from my own daily worries.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed escaping into it: reading about pressure from mob bosses and the professional criminal’s code of conduct allowed me to shiver delightedly from the relative safety of my London commute.

The novel is narrated for the most part by Skin, an ex-mob member.  He shows himself to be a tough but likeable guide through the wildness of his youth.  Life for Skin, then known as Sean ‘Shamrock’ O’Donnell, was simple: loyalty is everything.  Follow orders without question, don’t rat anyone out, and if you give your word, you keep your word.  Nostalgically he recalls jumping cars and starting to work his way up the ladder; unflinchingly he also details the many brutal beatings which came his way.  Skin may not cringe at their re-telling, but I certainly did; they’re quite graphic and this tale is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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The Perfect Murder: The First Inspector Ghote Mystery by H.R.F. Keating

The Perfect Murder was originally written and published in the 1960s, but has recently been re-released with a shiny new cover.  H.R.F. Keating was an unknown name to me when I picked up this book, but now I’ve started recommending him to people who I think will appreciate the book’s light, amusing and very British tone.  This isn’t a heavy literary masterpiece, but it’s a lovely, enjoyable read.

Having just said that the book has a British tone, the setting is also a sensory delight of Indian culture, people and city life. More