This continues the story of local detective Patrik Hedström and his girlfriend, Erica Falck, the beloved crime-solving duo whose first child has just been born. But while they celebrate this new life, a suspicious drowning claims a little girl they knew well. As the murder’s implications widen, Patrik’s investigation threatens to tear apart the rural fishing village of Fjällbacka, where a secret lurks that spans generations.
I’ve heard how Swedish crime thrillers are the creme de le creme when it comes to suspense and as I’ve yet to read Stieg Larssons Millenium trilogy, (much to my shame) I was eager to read The Stonecutter.
At first I was a bit confused about the various characters and flipping back and forth between various points of view; I got lost. However, once I became better acquainted with the characters names I didn’t find myself struggling to keep up with the story line.
There’s a quote that I love that mentions every good novel has a few short stories sacrificed into it. I’ve always agreed and in The Stonecutter there’s the story of the stonecutter that serves as the backdrop to all the events happening in the present. We aren’t sure how this ongoing tale from the past relates to the present until the end, which is quite shocking.
Now, I loved this book. I can’t wait to read the other books that feature the same detectives. However, I can’t give it a full five stars just because I figured a little bit too much of the mystery out. I love to have no idea what’s going on and be completely surprised until the very end. And yet I’m torn too because I was incredibly proud of myself for figuring a few key things out before they were officially revealed, so maybe well go with four and a half stars.
I agree with the folks who compare Lackberg to Agatha Christie. I definitely saw parallels while reading The Stonecutter. Probably the style more than anything else. And so many suspects. I did think – to my great satisfaction, that Lackberg, (at least in The Stonecutter) had a bit more edgier mystery, darker. This is definitely not a cozy mystery.
The villains – and there’s more than one – I loathed for different reasons and I loved that in the end the culprit didn’t need to expound on their motive because by that point I understood. If you’re like me you’ll think they’re still disgusting and vile but we have no doubt how they got to that point.
I think my favorite thing is that with every story line, there’s the little everyday things that add suspense, not just the mystery they’re trying to solve as police but the minutiae of everyday life adds tension and depth. I became as invested in their personal stories as I did the murder mystery, that says a lot. It also makes the crime that much more heinous and the resolution that much more satisfying.
The Stonecutter is worth the read for any mystery lover. Even for this jaded fan! This is the third in this series but I didn’t feel like I was missing much from previous novels. I think they can pretty much stand on their own, although I’ll definitely be reading the previous now!
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