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The Gingerbread House

(Hammarbyserien #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,881 ratings  ·  316 reviews
From the same Swedish editorial team and publisher as Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy comes a sensational new crime writing talent

Ingrid Olsson returns home from a Stockholm hospital to discover a man in her kitchen. She's never seen the intruder before. But he's no threat - he's dead.

Criminal Investigator Conny Sjöberg takes the call, abandoning his wife Åsa and thei
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by Penguin (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,881 ratings  ·  316 reviews

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Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good lord, this book is the epitome of why I LOVE Nordic Noir. This book was fantastic. It was twisted and engrossing with its' scenes and character development. I loved how deep and dark the author went in describing the characters, particularly the killer. Lovers of author Karin Fossum will adore this author. My only complaint...this is the author's only book translated to English. This is one of my pet peeves of the Nordic Noir genre and this book was a classic example of why.
Book Review
I'm giving this 3 stars (as opposed to 4 or 5 stars), but only because of two words in the entire novel that I feel are deliberate trickery by the author. It would be a disgrace to reveal to potential readers to what two words I'm referring, but I condsider having written them, a major error on the author's part. And so I'm giving this a lesser rating that I would have otherwise.

I consider this book the beginnings of an author who has yet to mature in certain areas, while showing imme
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scandinavian Crime Mysteries
Recommended to Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri by: Great Minds Think Aloud
Shelves: may-2012-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Hall
The Gingerbread Girl is the first in a planned series of thrillers set in the Stockholm district of Hammarby and introduces DCI Conny Sjöberg and the officers that work under his command in the Violent Crimes Unit. The series has gained some renown as it is the work of the editing and publishing team behind Steig Larsson's The Millennium Trilogy, and with an intriguing premise investigating a series of sadistic killings which have broken out across the country I had high expectations. When elder ...more
Bruce Hatton
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: swedish-crime
The blurb on the front cover describes this book as "fast-paced and addictive". I found it anything but. A sluggish police procedural with a cast of drab central characters. The murder of four 44-year-olds in and around Stockholm is somehow linked to some horrific cases of abuse in a preschool in the late 1960s. At first, we, the readers are lead to believe we know who the perpetrator is and it is just a matter of the police discovering his identity too. There is something of a twist towards the ...more
So okay, everyone loves this but me. So take this review with a grain of salt or something.

Considering the amount of violence in this book and how much of the violence is against women, it really wasn't for me. Honestly, if former students are being killed how come only one male student and the rest female? And the cops who have things together are all men, the female police officer has a problem.

I guess it was nice seeing a male police officer in a happy relationship but the unequalness of eve
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first in doubt if I really liked it, but as I continued reading, the book had me completely hooked. This novel is very deceiving and rather unexpected. Probably my initial reluctance was because the book was not what I expected, in fact it turns out I am talking about this book with everyone I meet so my impression of it really changed over time and it is still lingering in me after it’s finished.
The story works on different time levels and jumps between 2006 and 1968. It’s a story about
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently I'm going to be the only one to say this, but, daaang, I felt ambivalent about these characters. This wasn't such a cut & dried, good vs. evil book for me. Not in the least am I condoning murder, thank you very much, but I did feel a measure of empathy for the kids who were bullied and, at the same time, I felt sorry for the murdered gent who managed to turn his life around after his own wretched childhood while at the same time despising his sorry soul for what he did and feeling som ...more
Linda Strong
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Were you ever bullied when you were a child? Teased by other children because you looked different or dressed differently? Were you picked on because you were shy?

This is the story of a young boy who was teased, tormented, taunted and terrified when he was 6 years old and in preschool. He was beaten on a daily basis, tied up and put in the middle of the street. He had his clothes ripped, torn and sometimes even removed and hidden. To him, the other children are monsters.

Fast forward ... he is
Diane S ☔
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have to say I was very impressed by this book, it definitely had everything I expect from Nordic Noir. It was gritty, dark and very well written and I loved the plot line. I wonder if those children who bully or just join in to not be different ever stop to think of how they would feel if it was them. Have to say when I was growing up, there really wasn't alot of bullying, fights yes but after the fight everything was fine again. This could definitely be a novel that would make one think twice. ...more
Claes Ericson
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved The Gingerbread House! I haven't felt that way since I read The Millennium Trilogy. But another dimension was the fact the apparently the very disturbing bullying scenes from pre-school are self-experienced by Carin Gerhardsen.

I couldn't put the book down, and recommend to anyone interested in Scandinavian crime!The Gingerbread House
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The scene opens with a peaceful and majestic scene. Then disturbed by an outpouring of children and you can just feel the boisterousness... and then it suddenly quietened down to a couple of stragglers. All of these in the first few paragraphs. I was totally impressed by how well the atmosphere was conveyed.

A chance encounter, a blast from the past, led Thomas Karlsson to follow this happy looking man whom he knew to be a terrible bully in his early life. The next day, he was found murdered, he
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like thrillers, mystery and being completely surprised at the end of the story, I think you will love The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen. Gerhardsen skillfully crafted a thriller with a bizarre lot,a dark & dreary setting, with interesting and likable characters and managed to carry over the suspense when her book Pepparkakshuset (in Swedish) was skillfully translated by Paul Norlen into English.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Gerhardsen has
Lynda Kelly
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read of this author and if not for spelling a character's name 2 different ways I'd have given it 5*. Even then I was torn but for me, to get your own characters' names mispelled is a massive transgression and somebody out there (aside from myself) really should have noticed it.
I loved an expression used rather than be hugged by a dirty kid-"Just hug with your face".....great. Another one that made me laugh aloud was "Only Jesus thinks that children are good". I LOVE that one !
Sep 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
This book was absolutely terrible. I almost don't know where to begin...I thought perhaps the translation of it was poor, but it was more than that. The actual story itself was just as bad. It was a pedestrian premise, which was completely predictable. The 'twist' was so easy to guess. The characters were wooden. But worst of all were the pages of completely irrelevant information - does the war in Lebanon or how to make tapenade really propel the story forward? No! But if all of the irrelevant ...more
Heidi Mann
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This might be a 5-star rating by the time I finish. It's a very engaging book! I like some of the nuances that flow from it having been written in Swedish and translated into English. Every once in a while there's a slight error in translation -- nothing so garish as to confuse the meaning, just fun little instances of not being quite on target with an idiom of a grammatical convention -- not so many as to become annoying, though. Written from various characters' perspectives in a way that usher ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An English language translation from the Swedish, this mystery novel is a tight thriller. Conny Sjoberg is a police detective who is working on the case of a 44-year old man found murdered in the kitchen of a seemingly unrelated woman. Is there really a connection? When other 44-year old victims turn up murdered as well, the police must race to find a pattern and the killer.

This mystery easily kept my attention throughout. It seemed to be well translated with no language issues. It kept me guess
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is supposed to be the beginning of a crime series and I certainly want to read more. I haven't read any other Scandinavian crime fiction books and I guess this was a good place to start.
In this book the author explores the effects of bullying on young children. This theme is certainly relevant after tragedies like the Columbine massacre. The bullying occurs in preschool and the teacher does not want to get involved. One of the bullied children winds up being a serial killer, seeking re
Asta Elizabeth
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
- No, seriously. Wow. Ok. Breathe in, breathe out. FREAK OUT OMFG
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on my Kindle; I thought this was a great story! I was a little disappointed at the sort of abrupt ending, but maybe I was just wishing there was more. I recommend this book for sure!
4.5 stars
Totally addicting, fast-paced crime novel, read it in less than 24 hours. I had some issues with a couple of violent scenes but overall I loved it and I can't wait to read the next one!
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another one of those audiobooks that I had requested from Libby and forgotten about because there was such a long wait for it. Anyway, by the time the notification came to tell me it was ready to download I had forgotten what it was about, but I think that worked out for the best, as I really ended up enjoying it.

The gingerbread House is a fast paced Scandinavian Nordic Noir that follows a story of revenge and murder. It’s well written and since finishing the book I have discovered that
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not experienced Scandinavian crime fiction before despite the popularity of TV shows and books in recent years. I bought this book months ago as part of a special offer and finally got around to reading it: I’m annoyed I waited!

A man is killed at the home of an elderly woman who finds his body on her return from hospital. The plot centres around a group of children who bullied another. Now it is time for revenge…

In an additional sub plot, one for the police officers on the case believes s
Amber Eats Books
The mixed reviews this book received had me going into it with tempered expectations. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the majority of this story. I liked that we got not only the detective’s perspective but also the murderer’s. That kept the story going at a fast pace throughout. The only criticism I had was the big twist. It seem like it came out of nowhere and didn’t satisfy me. I know that comes down to more of a personal preference than a bad plot. So if you love d ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
took a while to get into great twist at the end
Jul 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book opens in the 60s with some horrific schoolyard bullying by 6 year olds which their teacher blatantly ignores. The children see this as tacit permission to continue torturing 2 of their less fortunate classmates. Fast forward 40 years to 2006. We meet the now docile and completely shut down Timothy and the first victim. By the end of this chapter we know the who, the how and they why and I have guessed the storyline. I guessed right.

The first killing happens in an empty house, and an eld
Apr 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I must revise my previous review - but not by much. After struggling with this book for 4 days, I had to put it down at nearly the half way mark. Nothing made sense, nothing connected to anything, the characters weren't interesting, not even likeable. I skipped sentences. Paragraphs, even pages, just to move it along. I simply couldn't care less for any of it. So I gave up, and put it down - there are other more fun books around, I didn't want to waste any more of my time on a crappy one. Then a ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gingerbread House is part of the Stockholm Text's Scandinavian Crime series. As it turns out, the Scandinavian's are quite prolific in the murder and mayhem department. Further, it turns out Stieg Larsen was only one of many great story tellers in the cold and often lonely communities of Scandanavia.

Another such author is Carin Gerhardsen. She is skilled at building a multi-layered mystery told from multiple points of view. The plot is slowly and deliberately shaped. The victims, the killer
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this quite by chance on my library’s online catalogue, and was swayed by the fairytale-esque title. The blurb was intriguing and I do very much enjoy Scandinavian fiction in translation, so I thought I would give it a go. The Gingerbread House was first published in 2008, and was translated into English in 2012. It is part of the Hammarby series, though nowhere does it say which number this book is in the cycle, which I found a little odd.

The Gingerbread House is set in Stockholm, and fe
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this one. It started very well: school bulliars are murdered one by one, more than 40 years later. But soon enough it started to drag along. The problem, I think, partly came from the fact that the blurb on my copy was revealing around 90% of the story. The police start suspecting the man mentioned in the blurb towards the very end of the book, and before that they don't really have any idea of who the killer might be, actually they take quite long to realize that all ...more
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Self-experienced plot 2 19 Apr 29, 2013 11:56PM  
Goodreads Librari...: two formats listed in one book 3 46 Jun 15, 2012 04:35AM  

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From the same publishing team that brought you Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy comes Carin Gehardsen, author of the Hammarby series, a series of crime novels that take place in the southern parts of Stockholm.
Originally a mathematician, which explains her clever plots and complex characters, Gerhardsen is the author of the Hammarby-series, crime novels that take place in the southern parts of

Other books in the series

Hammarbyserien (8 books)
  • Mamma, pappa, barn (Hammarbyserien, #2)
  • Vyssan Lull (Hammarbyserien #3)
  • Helgonet (Hammarbyserien, #4)
  • Gideons ring (Hammarbyserien, #5)
  • Hennes iskalla ögon (Hammarbyserien, #6)
  • Tjockare än vatten (Hammarbyserien, #7)
  • Falleri, fallera, falleralla (Hammarbyserien, #8)

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