My aunt likes to send me books she’s recently finished and really loved. A few weeks ago, I got The Stonecutter by Camilla Läckberg. Word is spreading that there are some really good Swedish and Icelandic novelists out there that Americans can’t get enough of.
The novel is a murder mystery set in a quiet coastal town where (dun dun dun!) a body is found in the water. The police start their investigation and Patrik Hedstrom, our protagonist, leads the case. There are several characters and relationships that come to light and everything is important. As the investigation goes on, more secrets are unearthed, things locals wanted hidden.
The novel’s structure is particularly intriguing since every chapter begins with a backdrop of a separate story, one set almost a hundred years earlier. I don’t want to give away too much, but it involves spoiled daughters, star-crossed lust, and abrupt social class changes. While reading, you wonder how it will all fit in the end.
To be honest, if you are interested in a fast-paced story where things happen at every turn, this one is for you. This is something I would have loved to listen to on CD while on a road trip. For readers that have more literary taste, you might want to skip this one. It’s not a novel that makes you think after you put it down (unless you’re thinking about who did it). I don’t have much insight into translations, but the writing style sometimes gives too many reminders or too much information to the reader, which I disliked. But still, it kept my interest and made me want to read to the end.