The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg

The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström, #1)

I don’t think I’m a murder mystery girl. I mean, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is one of my all-time favorite books (my best friend and I used to reenact it. In retrospect, it’s a miracle he and I made it out of middle school alive). And I mostly liked the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, save for some pacing issues. And I don’t mind crime books while I’m reading them. But it’s time to write a review for a book like The Ice Princess, when I have to decide if I liked it or not, I find myself coming up…blank.

Still reeling from the sudden death of her parents, author Erica Falck returns to her hometown to sort through their belongings. Not long after getting there, she finds the body of her childhood friend, Alex. At first it looks like a suicide; Alex is found dead in her tub with her wrists slashed. Erica and Alex’s friendship had ended after Alex suddenly stopped talking to her when they were pre-teens. But there’s still obviously some familiarity and affection, and Alex’s parents ask Erica to write about their daughter.

Erica is excited to write about Alex, having mostly burnt herself out writing biographies of female Swedish writers. She thinks a book about how the beautiful and vivacious girl she knew ended up slitting her wrists in a cold tub would make for a good story-maybe even a bestseller. But as she pries deeper into her friend’s life,things stop making sense. And she starts to suspect that Alex’s suicide was actually murder.

So she tries to piece together Alex’s life as best she can. As she pries deeper into her life, she finds more secrets than she bargained for-not just about her friend, but other people in the town as well. So she keeps digging.  Also she falls in love-cause what’s a murder mystery without some good old fashioned romance?

Parts of this book drove me crazy. The characters have a tendency to find one vital piece of information, look at it all “AHA” and then move only to reveal it Scooby Doo-style later. C’mon guys. Share it with the rest of the class. The love story also bugged me. I don’t need to know how many times Erica changed clothes before her boy toy showed up for dinner. And I certainly never needed to know that “making love” five times in a night is a Bingo.

No. Stop it.
No. Stop it.

A lot of the characters weren’t written well at all. There was the fat, sexual harassment pig with a Donald Trump haircut who rain the police station. Erica’s sister is married to an abusive piece of foreskin who flits in and out of the book, and whose story has no conclusion. I assume this book is part of a series, and he comes back.

I didn’t hate this book while I read it. I had a perfectly good time sitting back with a cup of coffee and trying to guess whodunit. I think if you’re a fan of murder mysteries, maybe you’d like this one. But all in all, I’d give this book a miss.

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