From Sweden with Love

Title: The Ice Princess
Series: Fjӓllbacka #1
Author: Camilla Lӓckberg
Publication Year: 2010
Pages: 393
Publisher: Pegasus
Date Started: March 10, 2017
Date Finished: March 15, 2017
Format: Hardcover
Beverage of choice: Earl Grey Tea

When I think about which books were the most influential in driving my love for mystery and thriller literature, the first two that spring to mind are And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. So when I heard there was a mystery novel that far outsold the latter of the titles in Sweden, I immediately had to read it. Enter: Ice Princess.
This book, like many others, takes place in a small town where nothing much happens, until a young woman is found dead in her bathtub by what appears to be suicide. Family and friends of the woman, however, refuse to accept that she would take her own life, and sure enough, the autopsy rules the case a homicide. The investigation is followed from the perspective of both a young cop, as well as a childhood friend of the victim. By working together, they hope to solve what really happened to the girl frozen in the ice.
I felt this book had so much potential. The case was interesting and many characters and past events in the small town mysterious. However, it was so, so, so slow. Additionally, the characters were given clues in the book that were vital for solving the case, such as letters written by suspects, that the reader was not able to read until after the case was completely solved! I, for one, like to solve the mystery before the end and by withholding the most important clues, I felt betrayed by the author. It seemed to be an attempt at creating suspense, but it ended up just making me angry. It would have been different if a character found a clue, exclaimed, “Oh my god!” and then the narrative jumped to another character, leaving the reader in suspense, but instead, in several cases, the character would find a clue, exclaim how important it was, shove it in their pocket, and continue the investigation. Not cool.
Once the story all came together, I would say that it was interesting, though hanging on for over ¾ of the book does not, in my opinion, make this a worthy read. Additionally, there was some romance and giggly, bubbly feelings in the book, which made it seem like it was more written for the stereotypical housewife. Just not my thing.
Overall, 2/5 moose

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