I’m [not] sorry to be adding to your crime thriller series pile – the latest series you need to start, if you haven’t already, is the Patrick Hedström series, starting with book one – The Ice Princess.
From the back cover:
Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.
Meanwhile local detective Patrick Hedström is following his own suspicions about the case. it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about the small town with a deeply disturbing past…
The Ice Princess is an excellent start to this Scandinavian crime thriller series. If you’re a fan of Nordic Noir, you’ll want to pick this book up.
The case of the ice princess is a good one, cleverly constructed, and while the reveal didn’t come as a surprise to me, I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the beginning of the novel, I was in a state of bafflement as to what had befallen Alex but as the plot progressed, the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place – one particular piece allowed me to guess what had happened. However, this came late in the novel and is one of the final puzzle pieces so it’s unlikely you’ll figure this one out from the beginning.
Arguably, this is a police procedural as Hedström is investigating the case, but it’s Erica who, for me, was the main protagonist, so this book has elements of a police procedural combined with elements of a crime thriller – and that’s a bloody good combination if you ask me. Both Erica and Hedström are likeable characters and I’m interested to see what befalls them in the next novel. When starting a series, it’s important to have that connection with the main characters from early on because that’s what keeps you reading a series, your love of the characters – I think so anyway.
My only criticism of this novel, and it’s a small one, is the subplot featuring Erica’s sister, Anna, there was nothing wrong with the way it was written, it’s just that I’ve seen it played out so many times before that it was a given how it would progress and ultimately end. If you’re a seasoned crime reader, you too may feel you’ve seen this subplot several times before and therefore not feel that invested in it or possibly not see a need for it at all. However, it does add to the theme of family ties that lie at the heart of this novel.
Importantly, The Ice Princess contains what I love most about Nordic Noir – that cold and moody atmosphere that only Scandinavian crime fiction can deliver, although it didn’t come through as strong as I would have liked but I’m obsessed with this atmosphere so it may please those that aren’t planning life goals to visit all these countries!
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I already have book two – The Preacher – in my Amazon basket ready to check out!