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Fjällbacka #1

La princesa de hielo

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En un pueblo que esconde muchos secretos es peligroso saber la verdad.
Se llamaba Alexandra, era joven, rica y guapa, y nadie en el pueblo se puede explicar su muerte. Por pura casualidad, Erica, amiga de la infancia y autora de biografías, se ve involucrada en el caso. Había regresado a su pueblo natal para hacerse cargo de la casa que acababa de heredar de sus padres, recientemente fallecidos en un accidente, y para trabajar en su próximo libro.
Cuando la familia de Alex le pide que escriba un recordatorio para el funeral, Erica, todavía conmocionada por la repentina muerte de su amiga, comienza a investigar la vida de la víctima.
Con la ayuda del comisario Patrik, otro viejo conocido que pronto se convertirá en algo más que un amigo, descubre un oscuro secreto, largamente guardado. Alguien conoció a Alex desde su infancia y le preparó un helado lecho mortuorio.
Camilla Läckberg dibuja finamente el retrato de la sociedad cerrada de una pequeña ciudad, en la que todos lo saben todo de todo el mundo, pero en la cual las apariencias son fundamentales.

376 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Camilla Läckberg

129 books8,430 followers
Before she became one of Sweden’s most popular crime writers, Camilla Läckberg (b. 1974) worked as a marketing director and product manager for several years. Her first two crime novels, Isprinsessan (The Ice Princess) and Predikanten (The Preacher), received rave reviews from the Swedish press and quickly found a large readership. But her big breakthrough came when Stenhuggaren (The Stonecutter) was nominated for The Crime Novel of the Year award in 2005, and also when Olycksfågeln (The Stranger) and Tyskungen (The Hidden Child) were made lead titles in Bonnier’s Book Club.

Camilla’s books have gained even more popularity after being adapted into a TV-series, produced by SVT (Swedish Television).

In April 2017 her tenth book in the Fjällbacka-series, Häxan, was released – claimed to be her best novel so far! In 2019 Camilla received a diamond book for Häxan, since it has sold in over 300 000 copies in Sweden!

And in the spring of 2019 heralds the global launch of The Golden Cage, the first of two dark and suspenseful novels by Camilla Läckberg. After ten internationally bestselling novels and over 26 million copies sold, Läckberg’s next adventure will be a psychological suspense duology.

The Golden Cage was the most sold book in Sweden 2019.

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5 stars
17,598 (23%)
4 stars
30,397 (40%)
3 stars
20,531 (27%)
2 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,462 reviews
Profile Image for M.
443 reviews47 followers
March 7, 2010
I had heard only good things about this book, but it seems this year I'm not being lucky with my readings.

In no particular order, the things that bugged me the most were:

1. This is a murder mystery novel, so there are clues the protagonists investigate to resolve it. The only problem is Läckberg tells the reader the clues after everything is resolved. Yes, the reader is excluded from the investigation, i.e. the fun of this kind of books.

2. There are blatant timeline mistakes. For example, check the dates when Patrik Hedstrom interrogates Dagmar Petren (the old lady who made cakes). Suddenly, it's two weeks earlier.

3. I'm convinced this was romance disguised as mystery. I don't really need to know how Erika and Patrik made love for five times because they are on the "bingo phase" of their relationship. Indeed, I would love if I had never read "bingo phase". Half of the book is spent in these silly things I don't want to read about. Else I would have chosen Danielle Steel!

4. Women. I can't believe this was written by a woman! Every woman in the book was completely dependent on men, did everything to please some man in her life and their hardest worry was to have a fine make-up in every occasion. Don't expect to find a strong-willed, intelligent and independent woman in this book. Except maybe the old Dagmar Petren.

5. "What kind of detective is Patrik Hedstrom?" That was the question that came to mind when I read Patrik, after looking for a long time to Erika, always sees her perfect in every detail and finds wonderful she goes out without make-up, unlike her ex-wife. Of course, Erika always has tons of make-up on and half the times they see each other she's just put on the first items of clothing in her closet. You could attribute that to being in love, but it just seemed like Patrik was stupid.

6. Of course, point 5 might just be the result of Läckberg lack of talent for writing. That might sound harsh, but Läckberg's characters were out of her control. She described everyone in a very wordy way which was pointless, since the characters really weren't as she wanted them to be.

7. It took me forever to read! And I had been hoping for a page-turner.
Profile Image for Pattie O'Donnell.
317 reviews29 followers
January 21, 2018
TONS OF SPOILERS TO SAVE YOU THE EFFORT OF READING THIS HORRIBLE BOOK: Could this be worse? We have one family that runs a town and the 100% evil, snooty aristocratic mother with TWO sociopathic sons (one natural, one adopted). The natural one rapes both boy AND girl children. The adopted one sets fires and commits fratricide before the age of 12. There's a 100% piggy grope-y police chief without redeeming qualities. There's a 100% piggy, grope-y brother-in-law without redeeming qualities (he practically twirls his non-existent mustache). The murder victim is one of the most beautiful women who has ever walked the earth, and she's not only secretly pregnant, but had been secretly pregnant before (and is that her earlier spawn lurking around her parents' house, sulking, perhaps? What a surprise!)

The focus of action shifts without explanation from the first main character (a decently sketch-out Brigit Jones-like woman) to a second main character (a decently sketched-out young detective, who has always been in love with the first main character). Several times at the end of a chapter, one of these folks finds a Clue, reads it, is surprised, and puts it in their pocket without sharing with the reader. The detective is credited as being very clever for finding the impression of a note that's been torn off a pad (yeah, good going, Sherlock). The author conveniently finds a will crumpled up in the evil family's trash can (what, shredders haven't made it to Sweden yet?). All the participants in an earlier murder conveniently keep little bookmarks inscribed with the initials of their childhood "gang" name in plain sight for the author and detective to find.

At some point, I decided to keep reading only to see what fresh stereotype or abomination waited on the next page.

On top of all the bad characterizations and dopey plotting, bad writing abounds. You can't blame the translation, because the guy translates Henning Mankell, and Mankell's gorgeous writing comes through in English just fine.

The only pluses were the two surprisingly likable and 3-dimensional main characters, and the vivid setting off- season at a seaside resort town. Plus a lot of careful, interesting and varying descriptions of the coffee people brewed. If the author could write a mystery the way she writes about coffee, this might have been a decent book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,883 reviews16.6k followers
October 29, 2019
First published as Isprinsessan in Sweden and in 2004, I read and enjoyed the English translation by Steven T. Murray published in 2010.

Lackberg’s prose is spirited and fresh and her contribution to the Nordic Noir genre of crime fiction is well stated. Telling the story of an unusual murder in the Swedish village of Fjällbacka, with some interesting twists and turns, the author’s greatest achievement here is her crisp characterization and filling the narrative with a cast of colorful players and some attention-grabbing sub-plots. Most notable is her exploration of themes of family, loyalty and the nature of propriety in a small town.

The one failing here, and it is relatively minor, though, is that as good as her characterization is for the most part, some of the antagonists are strawman caricatures with one dimensional fronts and the inconsistency can be distracting.

All in all a good murder mystery that is wrapped up tidily with a satisfying end. Also enjoyable was Lackberg’s introduction of two very likable protagonists and the start of a good series.

Profile Image for Carolyn (on vacation).
2,250 reviews642 followers
April 17, 2021
I think there must be something about the Scandinavian winter that just makes murder mysteries darker and more atmospheric and this one, first in Camilla Läckberg's Fjällbacka series is no exception.

Erica Falck, a writer has returned to Fjällbacka after the death of her parents to pack up their belongs and decide what to do with their house. An old childhood friend, Alex Wijkner has also recently been spending some weekends in her old house but just after Erica arrive, Alex is found dead in an icy bath tub with her wrists slashed. The police investigation into whether Alex's death was suicide or murder uncovers secrets kept for decades and some terrible truths about the past.

The novel was a little slow and not as lean as it could have been. The police seemed to miss some important clues and fluff around in the dark a bit too much, and at times it became more cosy mystery than psychological thriller. I felt that Superintendent Mellberg was not convincing as a real character and hope he does last too long in the series. However, I did like the two main characters Erica and Patrik, the young Detective and hope to see more of them in the future.
Profile Image for ♡ ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ♡.
2,746 reviews449 followers
February 27, 2023
4,5 Sterne
Der erste Band dieser Reihe startet mit einem eher ruhig erzähltem Fall. Der Fall an sich ist aber wirklich spannend und das Ende bzw. die Auflösung auch recht dramatisch. Der Weg dahin ist eher gemächlich, die Spannung nicht vordergründig. Ich fand die Geschichte dennoch richtig gut und auch fesselnd, und ich war neugierig, wie sich das alles zum Ende hin entwickeln würde.
Auf jeden Fall ein sehr guter erster Band, der Lust macht, die weiteren Bücher dieser Krimi-Reihe zu entdecken!
Profile Image for Beatriz.
834 reviews722 followers
February 23, 2017
No es una obra maestra del suspenso, pero logró mantener mi interés y la intriga por saber quién era el asesino. Además, mezcla varios otros componentes que rondan el entorno de Erica, la protagonista, como la relación que nace entre ella y uno de los policías encargados del caso y la violencia intrafamiliar que sufre su hermana (que a mi parecer no quedó suficientemente resuelta).

Me gustó el estilo de Camilla Läckberg y la forma en que va presentando los acontecimientos, por ejemplo, el hecho que los primeros indicios de la investigación nos los traspasara Erica, quien había sido amiga de la infancia de la víctima y que además fue quien la encontró muerta, para luego, pasada la mitad del libro, la batuta la lleve Patrick, el policía que está investigando el caso. Otro recurso que usa mucho la autora es comenzar un capítulo sin aclarar de quién se habla hasta pasadas las primeras líneas o que no se traspase inmediatamente al lector algún descubrimiento que hacen los personajes; esta fórmula que en otros libros me ha molestado mucho, aquí se presenta ágil y forma parte del rompecabezas que hay que completar.

Sí reconozco que la novela tiene algún que otro fallo, pero son detalles que no afectan a la trama y que quedan más opacados aún frente a una excelente descripción del lugar y la pequeña comunidad que lo habita.

Por último, advierto que no es un thriller repleto de acción, por el contrario, es un libro bastante pausado, que apuesta a que el lector vaya atando cabos junto con los protagonistas para descubrir al asesino.
Profile Image for fleegan.
266 reviews28 followers
August 21, 2009
I’m shocked. The cover of this book boasts that this is an international bestseller. The back of the book says, “Ice-cold suspense from Sweden’s new Agatha Christie.” This book was not very good. Normally I’d say that maybe there was something lost in translation, but I don’t think that’s the (whole) problem.

And now a list of grievances:

1. It seemed like all the characters who were good guys were pretty/handsome. And the bad guys (or people you were supposed to dislike) were fat and ugly. There was this oversimplification that just felt lazy.

2. There was a subplot (Erica’s sister’s drama) that was never completed. Maybe there’s a sequel? Even still, there should have been SOME kind of mention at the end about it.

3. When one of the characters found a clue (Erica or Patrik) they would find it (in a trash can/drawer/whatever), look at it all, “A ha!” and then move on WITHOUT TELLING THE READER WHAT THE FUCK THEY JUST FOUND. This happened three times. Now, I’m not a mystery author, but I know the damn rules. In fact, you’re probably not a mystery author either, and I bet YOU could even make a guess at some of the rules, yeah? One of the rules is No Evil Twins (unless of course the Evil Twin is made known at the beginning). Another rule? Only One Secret Passage. This book had neither secret passages nor evil twins, but it DID break the rule of When the Detective Finds a Clue He shares It With the Rest of the Class.

Now look, I’m all for breaking rules. You want to use an evil twin at the end? Go for it. No one will ever take you seriously again, but go for it. You want more than one secret passage? Fine. It worked for Clue, didn’t it? But I swear on a stack of Edgar Allan Poe books, if your detective finds a clue, and you don’t tell the reader what the hell it even is until much later? That’s bush league. That is hack. That is insulting to the reader and I have no idea why this book was an international bestseller.

4. This book had the slowest pace of any crime fiction I’ve ever read. A slow pace doesn’t have to be bad as long as the story, characters, events are compelling. In this story nothing was compelling.

5. The love story fell flat. I appreciated that there was an almost normal love story going on in the book. But it didn’t add anything to the book. (This is different from most of the Swedish crime fic and it’s desolation and despair.) So I was rooting for the love story, but it, like the character studies (from Grievance #1) seemed too easy and therefore came across as lazy. Plus, they have sex 5 times in one night just like in a boddice-ripping romance novel. But without all the steamy details, which is fine because hey, it’s a mystery, not erotica, however, when you write something like that and give no steamy details but you’re all, “then they did it! like, 5 times!” it’s like it’s written by a 9th grader or something.

6. There was a part where something may have been lost in translation, but not in a, “that sentence makes no sense.” kinda way, but in a, “I think they left out a whole paragraph somewhere.” This big reveal is going on about the lady who was murdrered and her past. It was very important to the story. Then the detective is all, “I’m shocked she had been pregnant before!” and see, the problem is, not in any previous part of the book was this mentioned, nor was it mention in the preceeding paragraphs, where, i think, a paragraph or two must have been left out. because his declaration just made no sense, nor would he have known about her previous pregnancy if he had not just heard it from the character who was telling of the murdered girl’s past. What a piece of shit.

Sadly, the book was slow and boring. And because the clues were withheld and paragraphs of info seemed to be totally missing, I have to call this a disaster. Perhaps it’s a much better read in it’s native tongue?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Raluca.
157 reviews77 followers
April 9, 2016
This has to be one of the worst mystery novels I've read so far. In fact, I'm not even sure if it's supposed to be 'mystery'. More like 'character discovers x clue, reader is not told what it actually contains, character suddenly reveals it much later on in a really dramatic, Scooby-Doo fashion'. And this happened throughout all the book.

Then there was the narrative. In the beginning, I thought it was a translation issue. Verbal tenses seemed inconsistent, there was some really awkward phrasing, a lot of events seemed to be mentioned more than once without adding anything. But no; that was simply the style of the writer. Dull and repetitive. Sometimes really irrelevant descriptions of places, situations or characters were made. Sometimes those descriptions were retold, just because.

Then there were the characters themselves: extremely flat and boring. No spark of intelligence whatsoever (except maybe the old lady with the garden gnomes), no self respect in any of the female characters, no improvement, no complex way of viewing life. In fact, all characters seemed to be tired, bored and exasperated of living itself. Sometimes the description of the narrator or of one of the other characters would go on saying that X or Y was like this and like that, when in fact, X or Y would be way too simplistic of a character to be able to hold onto such an image.

As for the mystery itself: once you had all the clues (and boy, was there a problem with them being revealed), it was really logical and dull. No surprises here; no intricate puzzle; just event A leading to event B.
Profile Image for LENA TRAK.
129 reviews111 followers
July 23, 2018
Not the best book of the Hedstrom series but it was ok! fast paced as always but I was a bit disappointed by the ending... Not quite what I expected. I think in her effort to avoid a predictable ending, Lackberg chooses an outsider as the killer, which is the reason why I gave this book 3 stars. Lackbergs has an impeccable writing style, so if you are a lover of the genre you should move on with The Preacher and The stonecutter both of which were just shy of 5 stars.
Profile Image for The Writer.
53 reviews
January 21, 2009
After finishing Stieg Larsson's fabulous trilogy, it is only natural for me to hunt for more Swedish authors writing criminal-genre novels and Camilla Läckberg happened to be the next one on the list - at least in my town library's list.

It is quite funny how Swedish writers tend to write their books in a batch of three - as a trilogy and Isprinsessen - which literally means "The Ice Princess" in English is the first of the three. Another similarity with Larsson's book that strikes me the most is that how the writer described the main character's family relations and background so well that these information would / could be related with what's coming or happening in the next book. It's perhaps a way to make the main character to be more personal and more familiar to the readers.

Isprinsessen's heroine is a female writer named Erica Falck, who happened to stumble upon a nasty murder in her sleepy hometown of Fjällbacka, Sweden. The victim is her own childhood friend Alexandra - whom she lost contacted years ago when Alexandra's family moved to Göteborg, a rather large city in Sweden.

Erica, who usually lived her hip life in Stockholm, came to Fjällbacka to take care of her parents' house and properties as they recently deceased in a car accident not awhile ago. Apart from that, she was also trying to seek comfort by immersing herself in her childhood environment while at the same time trying to ward off her nasty and dominating her brother and her poor little sister from selling the historical house.

It was only coincidence that Alexandra was found dead (and frozen) in a bathtub with both wrists cut during Erica's stay in that town. Alexandra's parents - who refused to believe that her own pretty daughter took her life - begged Erica to write a memoir about Alexandra and uninentionally "provoked" her to find more about her death.

What Erica found - among the rubbles of her childhood memories and the town's gossips - was a sheer mystery of the past. It all came down to her on why Alexandra's family moved so sudden to Göteborg, why she broke off the childhood friendship with her and the connection with the missing millionaire's son case back in 1977. She cracked the case with the help of another childhood friend / a small town policeman Patrik Hedström who will appear more in the next two books.

Overall, the book was a good reading. It feeds me all the suspense and thriller dose I need to find in a book - especially after having read Larsson's work - and the fact that she wrote well (again, I emphasized that even though the book was originally written in Swedish - I could claim that the Danish version was close to the original considering the two languages' similarities) added another plus to the book.

However - yes, there is a however - the mystery wasn't that enticing after it was unravelled. I guess Larsson was much better in creating all the complicated situations with big question marks attached to every characters he put in the book rather than Läckberg. But who am I to judge since this is only the first book. As I read on the back jacket of the book, the second book "Prædikanten" won the Sweden's best criminal novel of the year in 2004 so I can say that I'm very looking forward to reading the second book.
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
544 reviews759 followers
April 7, 2022
لا استطيع تصنيف الرواية انها بوليسية فقط فبها جزء اجتماعى كبير فرغم اننا ندور فى فلك قضية قتل اليكس (التى ظن فى البداية انها قضية انتحار ) لكن الرواية لاتضم فقط البحث عن القاتل فالكاتبة خاضت بنا داخل الاحداث والشخصيات والمواقف المتفرعة وتبتعد بنا احيانا عن القضية لنخوض فى تفاصيل اخرى ، بداية قصة حب ، صداقة، عنف ، اعتداء ، ادمان .

الرواية ليست على لسان شخصية واحدة لكننا كنا نتجول مع الشخصيات حتى ايليرت بيرغ الشخص الذى وجد الجثة فى البداية لم تدعه الكاتبة لكن جاءت به فى النهاية لتتطمئنا على احواله 😁😁

بعض الاحداث او الاستنتاجات استطعت استنتاجها قبل قولها فعليا فى الرواية اما عن القاتل ؟ لا انكر انى اتجهت فى احد الاتجاهات التى لم تكن صحيحة بالكامل لكن لم تبتعد كثيرا فاخفاء الاسرار القديمة كان العامل المشترك بين من شككت بامرهم وبين القاتل الحقيقى
وبعيدا عن الجريمة شعرت بالغضب الشديد من شخصية لوكاس وهو زوج اخت اريكا صديقة القتيلة الكسندرا

٢٥ / ١١ / ٢٠١٩
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,331 reviews2,144 followers
April 14, 2016
This was my first book by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I always like reading books set in Scandinavia and this one gave me lots of lovely descriptions of snow and beautiful Swedish settings. I enjoyed the romance between Erica and Patrik and felt it only added to the overall story. The mystery was suitably mysterious and I solved it just before the police did except that the solution was so horrible I did not want to believe it. I raced my way through this book and only put it down once when I just had to sleep whether I liked it or not. I have not researched yet what else Camilla Läckberg has written but I will be on the look out for more.
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,991 reviews898 followers
October 4, 2019
¡Mira que son raros estos nórdicos! O, como decía mi buen Obelix, ¡Están locos estos nórdicos!

Ya he leído el primero de la afamada Lackberg y aunque reconozco que la ambientación es muy, muy buena y el estilo escribiendo me gusta (sin pasarse tampoco), no me he llegado a gustar del todo por dos razones :

1.- ¡¡Hombrenomejodas!!, la que se monta para al 95% se le ocurre quien es el (o la) culpable y va donde él (o ella) y sin ninguna prueba confiesa de plano …¡hombrenomejodas!
2.- Que son muy raros. Que siempre sale lo de los malos tratos –que da mal rollo y a mí personalmente me altera los nervios y me entran ganas de machacarles el cráneo- y que las motivaciones para los crímenes me son muy ajenas.

Y eso me pasa no solo con la Lackberg sino con los otros tres o cuatro nórdicos que he leído (Mankel, Larsson, Nesbo …)

Así que aunque Dios me libre de decir que la novela es mala o no es amena, sencillamente no me ha encantado. No llega al 7/10 --> tres estrellas.
Profile Image for Penguin The Reviewer.
51 reviews18 followers
August 31, 2018
Θετικά στοιχεία:
- Πολύ ωραία πλοκή και κατάληξη. (Το κυριότερο)
- Αν και σε μερικά σημεία η συγγραφέας ήταν φλύαρη, το θεώρησα εύληπτο και παρουσίαζε τα πράγματα με πολύ ωραίο τρόπο.
- Στο μεγαλύτερο μέρος του βιβλίου η συγγραφέας χειρίζεται περίτεχνα τις σκέψεις του αναγνώστη.
- Δεν μπόρεσα να υποψιαστώ τον δολοφόνο.
- Μ' άρεσε που η πρωταγωνίστρια δεν είναι αστυνομικός, αλλά συγγραφέας.
- 100% θα διαβάσω τα υπόλοιπα της σειράς.

Αρνητικά στοιχεία:
- Η μετάφραση χρειάζεται επιμέλεια, καθώς παρατήρησα διάφορα λάθη, από ασυνταξίες μέχρι κι έλλειψη λέξης.

- Μια αστοχία της Καμίλα: μέσα σε δύο σελίδες η μέρα δολοφονίας αλλάζει. Στη μια περίπτωση αναφέρει ότι πέρασαν 3 εβδομάδες και ύστερα απο δύο σελίδες, στην ίδια αφήγηση, αλλάζει σε ενάμιση μήνα.
Profile Image for Dilushani Jayalath.
995 reviews165 followers
February 20, 2020
Scandinavian crime novels is one of my weak points when it comes to thrillers. From the limited experience I have in reading thrillers/crime or any novel that falls under that genre, I have grown to like ones that have been written by authors of that nationality more, especially when the stories are more based on winter time. Why is it more macabre when the crimes are transpired at that time? Something pulls us in when the cold get to you, the already dark times makes crime even darker with that attached to it.

This book did start strong. A small piece of advice for reading books of this genre. Read it in one siting without long period of breaks stretching between them. The appeal of the book is lost if it is not done so. My limited time and the very bad timing of starting the book on Monday made me have that insufferable long breaks between them thus by the last 40% 0r so of the book my attention was waned.
Still it is not that I did not enjoy the book but with more days passing by when I could not finish the book, my desire to know who was the real murderer was lost for me .

One of the biggest positive factor of the book is how normal our characters were. Our main characters are not these gorgeous human beings who are not only smart and beautiful who are loved by society on great but they are people who you would find at their jobs in general. Both Patrick and Erica made an awkward but fitting duo to lead the story. This was as matter of fact a double edged sword in my eyes. At one point it was great that this was such a normal story( as far as a crime novel could go) but sometimes it bored me. Sunday being the only full day I could sit with the book and read it, I fell asleep with it in my hands three times. That does say a bit on the factor that my attention was not properly hooked. Yet this is a personal notion of mine.

Like I mentioned at the beginning Scandinavian authors are still my favorite when it comes to crime novel, this book further cemented it. Maybe some things are lost in translation but the directness of the story was rather appealing too. I would really love to continue this series and see how the two eventually maneuver around the rest of the murders.
Profile Image for Kuszma.
2,278 reviews171 followers
June 19, 2023
Ez valami síkvidéki skandináv krimi lehet, amilyen lapos. Igazából pont csak annyira izgatott, hogy ne hagyjam abba, de amúgy elég uncsi. Uncsik a nyomozók, Erica, az írónő éppúgy, mint ez a Patrik nevezetű rendőr. (Jut eszembe, mégse hülyeség traumával verni meg az összes skandináv nyomozót, mert anélkül -lehet - mind ilyen unalmasak lennének. Tudtommal csak Fossumnak sikerült trauma nélkül is emészthető detektívet kreálnia északi alapanyagokból.) A két főhős között szövődő romantikus viszony is unalmas, és unalmas a nyomozás is. Itt jegyezném meg: dramaturgiailag tökéletesen érthető, miért operálnak olyan gyakran a krimiírók sorozatgyilkosokkal: egyszerűen hasznos elhelyezni mondjuk 50-100 oldalanként egy megfelelően kikészített gusztusos hullát, mert az olvasó még a végén elkezd figyelni arra, tud-e írni a szerző. Läckberg ezt elmulasztotta, következésképpen semmi sem takarta el, hogy humorérzéke halovány, íráskészsége pedig gyenge, nagyjából a kreatívírás-tanfolyamok középszerű stréberjeinek szintjén lehet.

Különben meg viszonylag konzervatív az ízlésem a krimik terén, rájöttem. Például nem szeretem, ha az író olyat is megoszt az olvasóval, amit a nyomozókkal nem – mondjuk párhuzamos fejezetekben betekintést nyerhetünk holmi harmadik személyek (áldozatok vagy elkövetők) tudatába. De elfogadom, ez új síkot nyithat a szövegben, lehet vele színezni a sztorit. (Bár Läckbergnek ez se sikerült.) Azt viszont nagyon ellenzem, hogy ha a nyomozó megtud valamit, akkor azt ne ossza meg az olvasóval. Ez egyszerűen nem sportszerű, tönkrevágja az olvasó párhuzamos nyomozását, és ezzel magát az olvasási élményt is. Ebben a könyvben pedig ilyesmi gyakran megesett. Azt se szeretem, amikor laikusok laikus módra nyomozgatnak, mintha a gyilkossági ügy valami izgi játék lenne. Pedig Erica mást se tesz. Fogja magát, és éjnek idején elugrik az áldozat lakására kutakodni. Miért? Mert csak. Megtud valami létfontosságút, és jól eltitkolja a rendőr elől. Miért? Mert épp erre van igénye. Idegbaj. Az egész nyomozás amúgy is vontatott és abszolút felejthető. De nem baj, mert helyette Läckberg nagykanállal adagolja nekünk a tölteléket, itt van például Erica húga meg a húg rohadék férje, meg Patrik rohadék főnöke, no és persze a már említett szerelmi évődés Erica és Patrik között. Amit úgy kell elképzelni, hogy Erica azon elmélkedik, csini tangát vegyen-e fel, vagy ilyen gumírozott tábori bugyit, mert utóbbi leszorítja a hájhurkáit. Ezzel kell jóllaknunk, a főhős bugyiválasztási szokásaival. Hát kössssssz.

Talán a leggyengébb skandináv krimi, amit eddig olvastam. Mondjuk – nyilván – nem olvastam sokat. Nem is tudom, miért nem adok neki hármasnál rosszabbat. Talán mert tudat alatt félek a krimiíróktól, bele ne írjanak mint áldozatot a következő könyvükbe.
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,944 followers
July 19, 2011
Beginning with her 2002 novel, Isprinsessan, Camilla Lackberg has been a popular crime fiction novelist in Sweden. In an obvious attempt to capitalize on the current wave of interest in Scandanavian crime fiction in the U.S., Lackberg's first novel has now been published here as The Ice Princess.

Erica Falck, a writer, returns to her small hometown of Fjallbacka, a Swedish fishing village, to deal with family matters in the wake of her parents' deaths. No sooner does she arrive, though, when her best childhood friend, Alexandra Wijkner, is found dead, frozen in her bathtub, an apparent suicide. Alex was a beautiful woman, married to a successful, caring husband and appeared to have a wonderful life. The two women lost touch years earlier when Alex and her family mysteriously left town in something of a hurry, but even though they had not been close for years, Erica cannot imagine why her old friend would have taken her own life.

Erica's first instinct is to write a book about Alex's death. Her second is to join forces with another childhood friend, Patrik Hedstrom, in an effort to unravel the mystery. Patrik is the principal detective investigating Alex's death. It soon becomes apparent that the small town of Fjallbacka has a lot of deep, dark secrets, some of them dating back for years, and Erica is determined to root through all of them to uncover the truth about the death of her friend.

Inside this four-hundred-page book is a lean psychological thriller struggling to break free. The basic plot is interesting enough, although a lot of readers will usually be at least one step ahead of our heroine. The problem is that there's an awful lot of navel-gazing that one has to wade through. Every few pages the action screeches to a halt while one or another of the characters examines his or her emotional state, and after a while this gets pretty tedious. The characters are also very uneven. Some of them are very well-drawn, complete and interesting; others not so much. There is one central character in particular who's a totally unbelievable cartoonish caricature unworthy of being included in a serious novel. There's also a totally unnecessary subplot involving Erica's sister that intrudes into the story on a regular basis.

My other main concern with this book is that the police procedure is often laughable. The police miss obvious clues and neglect to take even basic steps in the investigation, leaving Erica to make discoveries that the detectives should have made very early on. Patrik also allows Erica, a civilian, to take a role in the investigation that no real police detective would ever countenance.

Toward the end, the book finally gathers steam and Lackberg produces a fairly interesting and entertaining conclusion. But it does leave one with the distinct impression that this would have been a much better book if the author had gotten to the conclusion a lot earlier.

The cover suggests that fans of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell "will devour" this book, but Lackberg is clearly not in their league--at least not yet. Several others of her novels are soon to be available in the U.S. and perhaps they will demonstrate more conclusively that she is moving to fulfill that claim.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,253 reviews237 followers
May 3, 2023
Locking out those you imagine to be enemies might also be locking out those who would be friends!

Many people will classify THE ICE PRINCESS as a psychological thriller simply because that is the term most commonly applied to this type of novel. But the fact is that there is nothing of the “thriller” in this novel at all. Not a single moment of the story might be described as gripping, intense, thrilling or page turning. But it is compelling nevertheless. Much better characterized as a “psychological mystery”, every page of THE ICE PRINCESS is a cerebral smorgasbord of character development and police mental gymnastics aimed at resolving a knotty and very personally motivated murder. And Camilla Lackberg’s skill in following the demanding writer’s dictum, “Show, don’t tell”, certainly are on full display.

Two suicides (or is it two murders??) and any number of entirely dysfunctional families and inter-personal relationships comprise the setting for THE ICE PRINCESS. No chases, no blood and gore, no overt violence, no high speed chases, no thrills and chills, no hot sex or heavy breathing … just conversation and the mental processes of a well-grounded and very human detective untying a Gordian knot. You'll want to keep your wits about you as read. The plot is best described as thick, labyrinthine and even, at times, somewhat tortuous and the list of dramatis personae is long, very long. Don't let your attention lag!

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Katie.
799 reviews17 followers
May 30, 2011
I feel so lackluster about this book that it's not even worth posting a review. Maybe I would have been shocked to discover who the murderer was, if I'd had a chance to solve the mystery, but I didn't. The characters often find important clues that we aren't allowed to see (for example, finding a piece of paper with something important written on it, which we're told, but we don't know what it says). For me, that's a fail on the writer's account. When I have access to the information, and the opportunity to try to piece together the evidence that I'm given, I am blown away if I haven't guessed the outcome. This novel, I didn't care who the killer was, because I had no leads, so it could have been anyone and I wouldn't have been surprised, because I wasn't lead to suspect anyone.

There were other issues here that made the novel not work at all: the characters weren't believable or particularly likable, one of the characters was suffering from domestic abuse but her sister did nothing, there was a love story that wasn't affecting at all...if you're looking for a great foreign thriller writer, try Jo Nesbo.
Profile Image for Anja Karenjina.
305 reviews177 followers
September 28, 2019
5- 🌟
Oduševljena sam ovim trilerom. Zapravo, ne mogu ga tako nazvati. Ovo je misterija, triler i drama u jednom. Ovo je priča o ubistvu, zlostavljanju i svemu što ne smem da vam kažem. Upozoravam vas: ako vas trigeruju zlostavljanja u svim oblicima, nemojte da čitate ovu knjigu.

Ono što mene oduševljava u knjizi jeste što ulazite u nju sa očekivanjem da čitate klasičnu misteriju- ko je ubio junaka; zapravo, dobijate mnogo više od toga. Dobijate gomilu likova i svaki od njih dobija neverovatno jake ličnosti. Nebitno da li je sporedan ili glavni lik. Nebitno da li će se pojaviti jednom u knjizi i nikad više- i on će dobiti opis svoje ličnosti. To me je oduševilo. Dobijate ljubavnu priču glavnih junaka, opise švedskog seoceta i odnose u tako malom mestu. I najbitnije od svega dobijate podatke od kojih će vam se kosa podići na glavi jer su toliko uznemirujući. Šokirana sam i malo potresena kada samo zamislim da ovakve stvari ne postoje samo u knjigama.

Jedini razlog zašto je ova knjiga dobila ocenu 5- je zato što sam razotkrila ubicu pre vremena 😂. To je npr. nešto što kod Agate Kristi nema šanse da mi se desi.

***BITNA NAPOMENA*** Iako sam joj dala 5 zvezdica, to je samo subjektivna ocena. Tvrdim da nije za svakoga. Tako da ako ste neko ko voli suv triler sa puno akcije- ovo nije za vas. Ako ste neko ko se lako trigeruje na uznemiravajuće detalje-ovo nije za vas!
Profile Image for Melanie.
556 reviews289 followers
October 5, 2017
Now that I had a night to sleep on it, I thought I share some of my thoughts about this book. First of all, let me tell you that if you love this book, that is ok. I love some really terrible books and I am not ashamed of it and neither should you. Nevertheless, I want to talk a bit about why this book just did not work for me.

When I suggested this book as a read for my Read Around the World Bookclub it was on the basis of the marketing for this book as a "hard-hitting Scandi-crime novel that explores the difference in Swedish society between rich and poor, small town Sweden...". I expected something a bit like Mankell, bit like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I prepared myself to be scared and freaked out by the descriptions of horror that humans inflict on each other. Instead, I read a book that claims to be a hard-boiled crime story, but in fact it is a cozy mystery pretending that it is not a cozy mystery.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do love a cozy mystery now and then. They are honest about what they are, reading one, I expect outragous storylines, crazy people, over description of everything and outlandish crimes with weird motives. And here is my main problem with the book, it's just not honest what it is about. It is cozy set in a Swedish backwater with a bit of romance thrown into the mix.

I found the writing to be terrible and I don't think it's a translation error, Murray is a well respected translater of Swedish. The portrayal of each woman being dependent on a man or the opinion of a man or the action of a man was a throwback to the 1950ies. Erica's obsession with Weight Watchers, her thoughts on urinary tract infections or analysing her weight and her eating all the time, was at first amusing towards the end downright annoying. Laeckberg is so judgey of women's appearances. They are either too skinny or too fat. Some could do with a good haircut. Her obsession with interior design reflecting the people's personalities in this book, because you know if you don't have hardwood flooring, you are a bit frumpy. Just deal with it.

By the time, the conclusion comes around, you will no longer care about who murdered the victim. I cared, however, because as I predicted that it would feature childhood abuse (referred to quite often as "assault" which made me livid to say the least). As a survivor, I have so many issues with childhood abuse portrayal in books, and this book has hit a new low. The beautiful woman who is withdrawn from everyone and cannot love anyone and does not share anything, the talented artist who has to drown his painful experiences in drink and the successful businessman that has become a psychopath himself. No real reflection on what has happened to these people, but then what did I expect, after all, there is no character development in this book whatsoever, so surely reflection is just too much to ask.

In short: This was the worst book I have read (and finished) and a very long time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,937 reviews797 followers
August 5, 2017
Erica Falck has returned home after the death of her parents and is trying to get over the tragedy when a neighbor finds the body of Erica's childhood friend Alex dead in the bathtub with slashed wrists and the police thinks that she has taken her own life. But, is it really that simple?

The Ice Princess is an intriguing book from the very start and I enjoyed getting to know the characters from the beginning. I've read the latest published book, the Witch which is book 10 so I had (reading book 8 now) nine books to get through and I was looking forward to it. Läckberg is a great writer and the story is excellent. I have previously seen the movie, although some years ago so I was not that surprised about how it all turned out. But, I enjoyed immensely listening to this book. I quite like Erica, Patrik and the rest of the characters (Well Mellberg is hard to like)!
Profile Image for Melanie.
279 reviews133 followers
April 8, 2018
I am giving this a 3.5. Pretty darn good mystery here. The very end may be a bit far fetched but it is fiction after all. The author did keep me guessing throughout the whole book. There is a romance in this mystery (which usually bugs the crap out of me but for some reason this one didn't). One thing that did irk me is that author does mention how some of the characters feel about their physical image quite a bit. Since this is mystery it felt a bit out of place (for me) in this setting. It made me wonder if the author focuses on other peoples physical images in her own life.

But all-in-all I did enjoy it and will be reading the second installment for sure.
Profile Image for Zaphirenia.
283 reviews196 followers
December 26, 2019
Έχοντας διαβάσει δύο βιβλία της Λακμπεργκ, έχω να πω ότι είναι ψυχαγωγικά αλλά κάνει μια κατάχρηση του τρικ "ήξερε ότι κάτι δεν πήγαινε καλά αλλά δεν μπορούσε να βρει τι, μην ανησυχούμε όμως γιατί θα αποκαλυφθεί σε ένα πιο βολικό σημείο με τη μορφή εκλαμψης". Επίσης, οι ήρωες πίνουν υπερβολικά πολύ καφέ. Θα διαβάσω και τα υπόλοιπα πάντως, τα βρίσκω αρκετά καλά και ιδανικά για δύσκολες μέρες που δε σηκώνουν πολλά πολλά σε επίπεδο πνευματικής δραστηριότητας.
Profile Image for Vera.
95 reviews53 followers
February 21, 2013

H Camilla Lackberg είναι η νέα πολλά υποσχόμενη Σουηδή συγγραφέας της αστυνομικής λογοτεχνίας. Η “Παγωμένη Πριγκίπισσα” καταφέρνει με μέσα από την κεντρική ηρωίδα την η Ερίκα Φαλκ, μια νεαρή συγγραφέα να μας χαρίσει ένα ξεχωριστό μυθιστόρημα γεμάτο μυστήριο και αγωνία χωρίς να παραλείπει να εστιάσει στον τρόπο ζωής και στις αξίες της σουηδικής κοινωνίας. Η αγάπη, η μοναξιά, η ενδοοικογενειακή βία, ο αλκοολισμός, η παιδοφιλία παρουσιάζονται άλλοτε διακριτικά και άλλοτε άμεσα γύρω από τον άξονα της δολοφονίας της Άλεξ, που βρίσκεται νεκρή μέσα σε μία μπανιέρα από την παιδική της φίλη, την Ερίκα. Η μικρή κοινωνία αναστατώνεται από ένα τόσο τραγικό γεγονός και η Ερίκα, σε συνεργασία με την τοπική αστυνομία, προσπαθεί να εξιχνιάσει το έγκλημα. Η ΄Αλεξ, αν και νεκρή έχει διαρκή παρουσία στο μυθιστόρημα μέσα από τις αναμνήσεις των οικείων της. H Camilla Lackberg με φόντο τη Φιελμπάκα προβάλλει την κλειστή και ψυχρή κοινωνία της Σουηδίας. Εξαιρετική η μετάφραση. Σίγουρα η “Παγωμένη Πριγκίπισσα” είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο της Lackberg που διάβασα αλλά όχι το τελευταίο.

Profile Image for Leah.
1,435 reviews221 followers
February 6, 2015
Light and shade...

Erica Falck has returned to her home town of Fjällbacka to sort out the belongings of her parents who have recently died. But she is soon in the middle of the investigation into the death of her childhood friend, Alex, found frozen in her bathtub with her wrists slit. At first it looks like suicide, but it soon becomes clear that she was murdered. Alex and Erica had been very close as children but had grown apart as children do, and then Alex and her parents had left the town. So Erica feels personally involved in wanting to know what happened to Alex in the intervening years, and who would have a reason to kill her. The detective who's investigating the case, Patrik Hedström, is another friend from childhood, but when they meet again after all these years their relationship quickly becomes something more than friendship.

This is the first book in the Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck series. I'd previously read a later one, The Stranger, and enjoyed it a lot, so wanted to go back and read the books in order. Quite often the first book in a series can be disappointing as so much time has to be given over to character development, and authors sometimes take a couple of books to really get into their stride. But I didn't feel that at all in this case – this is an excellent debut, with a strong plot and with two main characters who very quickly become people the reader can like and care about.

Patrik and Erica's new found feelings for each other are handled beautifully. There's enough humour to stop it from being at all soppy and Läckberg makes the whole romance element quite straightforward – no bitter, vengeful ex-partner, no misunderstandings etc. The whole thing comes over as very natural and realistic and, because both characters are strong and attractive, the match feels like one that will last. I loved the way the viewpoint shifts between them so that we are able to see what each is thinking. At one point as Patrik is on his way to Erica's, we see her rushing about desperately changing clothes and re-doing her make-up in an attempt to achieve that carelessly casual natural look – and when he arrives the view shifts to him, and we see him being completely fooled by it and thinking she's one of these rare women who doesn't need to try. Lovely!

By contrast, the plot concerning the reasons for Alex's murder is quite dark, and there is a sub-plot concerning Erica's sister who is in an abusive marriage, so there's plenty of meat in the story. Although Erica does a little unofficial poking around, the bulk of the investigation is done as a police procedural. Fjällbacka is a tiny place, so the police aren't used to dealing with murders, and apart from Patrik most of them would rather not have their routines disrupted. So Patrik more or less takes the case over, and we see him as a dedicated officer without any tediously maverick tendencies. On the downside, Patrik's boss is drawn as the stereotypical incompetent bully in this book, though from memory that aspect seemed to be toned down quite a bit by the time of the later book that I read.

The translation by Steven T Murray is excellent – it doesn't read like a translation at all, and none of the touches of humour get lost. Well written, with two likeable leads characters and a great mix of light and shade in the plot, this one has left me looking forward eagerly to catching up with the rest of the series.

Profile Image for Cristina.
310 reviews385 followers
December 4, 2013
Partamos de la base de que el libro no es gran cosa. Pero que si buscas simplemente algo con lo que entretenerte, cumple de sobra su función.

Tiene algunos fallos que me resultarían intolerables en el caso de que me hubiera tomado esta lectura en serio, pero como no lo ha sido, simplemente me resultan anecdóticos:

En primer lugar, la distribución cronológica de los hechos es confusa. Más que confusa, diría que está incluso equivocada, aunque no pondría la mano en el fuego por esta afirmación. Sólo es una impresión.

Además, la trama está montada a base de los famosos cliffhangers tipo "entró en la casa y encontró un papel en la basura y se quedó pensando en lo que acababa de leer pero no te lo revelaré hasta dentro de unas cincuenta páginas para resolver de golpe todo el misterio". Desarrollar la historia de este modo puede servir una o dos veces, pero me parece una forma vaga de escribir si se abusa demasiado de ella. Pero vale.

Y lo último es la absoluta carencia de naturalidad de los diálogos. Al final dejé de notarlo, pero no hay ni un solo diálogo que no pareciera sacado de una función de teatro hecha por alumnos de primaria.

Por otro lado Patrik, uno de los protagonistas, me parece adorable. ADORABLE, os digo. Y por eso lo quiero. Y con eso compensa casi todo el libro, porque mi criterio para decidir sobre la calidad de los libros suele basarse en cosas tan banales como esta.

Y también ha sido una de las pocas veces en la que no averiguo el asesino a las pocas páginas de haber comenzado a leer el libro. Esto es un plus, porque al menos, consigue mantenerme enganchada hasta el final por muy malo que sea todo lo que envuelva a la historia.

Es entretenido. Sirve para leerlo bajo la sombrilla.

Leeré los otros dos.
Profile Image for Vera.
95 reviews53 followers
February 22, 2013

H Camilla Lackberg is a new promising Swedish author of crime fiction. The "Frosted Princess" manages through its central heroine Erika Falk, a young writer to give us a unique novel full of mystery and suspense without failing to focus on the lifestyle and values ​​of Swedish society. Love, loneliness, domestic violence, alcoholism, pedophilia presented sometimes subtly and sometimes directly around the axis of the murder of Alex, who is found dead in a bathtub by her childhood friend, Eric. The small community is disrupted by such a tragic event and America, in cooperation with local police, trying to trace the crime. The Alex, though still has a lasting presence in the novel through the memories of their of. H Camilla Lackberg with background Fielmpaka bringing the cold and closed society of Sweden. Excellent translation. Surely the "Icy Princess" is the first book of Lackberg I have read but not the last.
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