Reviews for Stonecutter

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #1
*Starred Review* Läckberg's third novel is her longest, a nearly 500-page crime thriller that digs deep into the history of the small Swedish town of Fjallbacka. When a young girl's body is pulled out of the harbor, author and new mother Erica immediately is drawn into the story. Her partner, Patrick, is the police detective assigned to the case, and she is friends with the girl's mother. Driven by her friendship as well as fears for her baby, Erica can't leave the case alone. With only thoroughly confusing clues (Why was the dead girl's mouth filled with ash?) and few real suspects (even the nasty neighbors aren't good candidates), Patrick struggles with lazy and inept colleagues and an even remoter-than-usual boss. Läckberg interweaves the modern-day criminal investigation and the story of a young, rich girl from the early twentieth century. As the novel careers to dramatic endings for both modern-day and historical stories, readers will wonder whether there really is such a thing as justice for anyone. Those who have read Läckberg's The Ice Princess (2010) and The Preacher (2011) will be familiar with her series characters, Erica and Patrick, but new readers won't have a hard time jumping in. A perfectly plotted and paced mystery bolstered by strong, realistic characters makes this a must-read for all followers of Scandinavian crime fiction. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
Swedish publishing phenom Lckberg returns to the ill-starred town of Fjllbacka for another dose of resentment that festers into violence. Now that his live-in girlfriend, writer Erica Falck, has presented him with a child, Patrik Hedstrm ought to be finding a better balance between his personal and professional responsibilities. But his sympathies as both father and cop are demanded by the murder of Sara Klinga, the daughter of Erica's new friend Charlotte. Who would dump a seven-year-old near a wharf after drowning her, according to forensic evidence, in a bathtub? As Patrik surveys the wreckage of Sara's extended family, from the pathological philandering of Charlotte's husband, Dr. Niclas Klinga, to the unaccountable cruelty of Niclas' mother Lilian Florin, whose name Niclas rejected in favor of his wife's upon his marriage, Lckberg (The Ice Princess, 2010, etc.) parcels out hints of the tragedy's roots in the loveless marriage some 75 years ago between flirtatious heiress Agnes Stjernkvist and Anders Andersson, the stonecutter she'd captivated and planned to leave before her father discovered her pregnancy and forced the couple to wed. Meanwhile, back in the present, Patrik and his mostly incompetent colleagues on the Tanumshede police force focus their suspicions on imperious Lilian, who seems to loathe everyone but Stig, the bedridden husband she nurses so assiduously; Kaj Wiberg, the neighbor with whom she's long feuded over every pretext she can find; and Kaj's son Morgan, a computer game designer with Asperger's Syndrome who'd be poorly equipped to take the air even in a much sunnier spot than Fjllbacka. Yes, the detection is forgettable (Patrick solves the mystery by watching a similar case on TV) and the climactic revelation unsurprising. Lckberg's greatest strength is dramatizing the long shadows of family troubles that grow to monstrous size. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #4

Läckberg's excellent third novel set in the west coast village of Fjällbacka, like its predecessors The Ice Princess and The Preacher, strips conventional veneers from her achingly complex characters. Alternating parallel narratives embroil readers first in the present-day murder by drowning of little Sara Klinga, then in the rise and fall many decades earlier of Agnes Stjernkvist, a venomous schemer who lusts after honest stonecutter Anders Andersson. Investigating Sara's death is series lead Det. Patrik Hedström, now an exhausted new father, whose partner, Erica, is suffering through a desperate postpartum depression. Läckberg gradually tightens the disparate narrative strands noose-like around her numerous remorselessly dissected characters, her signature reversal revealing shocking and poignant truths about the residents of Fjällbacka, where she herself was born. With at least nine more novels waiting for English translation and the Swedish TV series Fjällbacka Murders in the works, Läckberg has rapidly become one of the most profitable native authors in Sweden's history. Agent: Joakim Hansson, Nordin Literary Agency. (May)

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