THE ICE CHILD by Camilla Läckberg
Genre: Nordic Thriller
It's January and Fjällbacka sleep under a thick coat of snow. A confused girl wander in the woods. She is badly wounded and proceeds stumbling barefoot, her eyes like two blacks holes on a pale face. Her wanders ends when, reaching the road, a car run her over, killing her.
Camilla is back and once again she uses the same deadly mix: gruesome atrocities, familiar characters, incredible twists. THE ICE CHILD, ninth book of Fjallbacka series, tells a story that originated in the deepest darkness ...
Erica is writing a new book inspired by an old family tragedy that ended with the death of a man: a man who had arrived in Fjallbacka with the circus. A new and fascinating world to Erica, the circus, that amazes and makes her dream, but which in this case is the backdrop to a gruesome case that with time has almost faded into legend. Now an expert in research and interviews with the victims, Erica is seeking the common thread that can lead to the truth behind this story. Despite countless visits to the wife of the man who was convicted for the murder, her researches appear to have come to a dead end. What the woman hides?
When Patrik Hedström and his team received the alarm about the accident that occurred near the woods, the victim has already been identified. This is a girl disappared four months ago on her way home from the local riding school and which had gone missing since. On her body, in addition to the injuries due to the crash, the girl bears wounds that witness unimaginable atrocities and slowly it happears clear that there is a possibility that she is not the last and only victim.
The two stories may have a link, and it seems once again that the past has casted a dark shadow on the present ..
THE ICE CHILD is the ninth book written by Camilla Läckberg on the couple Patrick Hedström and Erica Falck and there is no need to read the previous 8 installments to enjoy this Nordic masterpiece. Those who follow the story since 2003 will recognize the style and fairly simple structure of the books, all based on providing the reader a sense of familiarity and security which is then shaken by a massive dose of horror and unexpected backstory. Läckberg offers this time an unusually brutal history and delivers a terrible message in a very effective and with a sharp and essential narrative style signature of Nordic thriller.
Despite always using the same formula instead of being dull, with the time Läckberg has learn how to refines more her stories.
Going from flashbacks of a shocking crime to family daily dramas of Patrick's and Erica's extended family, to the investigation into the kidnapping and the chilling torture of girls in their early teens, Camilla creates a strong plot but at the same time is able to develop also the many secondary characters without weighing the plot.
The distinguish feature of Erica to snoop in the official police investigations helps again to find links between the current and the cold case, although at the reader's limit of tollerance, she helps to keep a steady attention, allowing us to find most of the answers while leaving room for a final twist that winks to a possible sequel.
In a steady escalation of suspense and sadism, THE ICE CHILD is destined to be a success not only among fans of Erica and Patrick but also and above all among those brave readers who have read and loved Samuel Bjork's books and Tess Gerritsen's.
After this reading that is, in my opinion, the jewel of the crown of a series of incredible success, we have to take some time to process the story and wait to find out what other horrors are lurking in the woods surrounding the peaceful costal town of Fjällbacka.