by Camilla Lackberg
Story: A writer returns to her hometown on the Swedish coast and stumbles into murder and romance.
- Lackberg writes sharp characters, most of whom seem real, flawed, and quirky.
- The little burg of Fjallbacka, which bustles with busybodies and buried secrets, is a fun setting for a mystery.
- The identity of the killer surprised me.
- Princess has a believable plot and denouement – not bad for a first-time novelist.
- Yet another crime novel in which a key plot point is childhood sex abuse. Whatever happened to the good old days, when routine peccadilloes like blackmail and ruined reputations were essential ingredients? I guess they were usurped by the serial-killer novel, which has now given way to omnipresent child molesters.
- There is an abundance of continuity slips and groan-inducing clichés. From page 90: “It was so quiet in the room that you could have heard a pin drop.” Did Lackberg actually write that, or was it the English translator’s contribution?
- Stupid Cop Syndrome, in which the amateur heroine makes crucial discoveries that the cops, inexplicably, overlook. Sure, it’s possible, but no, it’s not plausible.
Report Card: B
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