As is apparently everyone and their mother (except MY mother who would HATE them!) I am a huge fan of the Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson. I loved the characters, was enthralled by the drama, and found myself constantly trying to solve the mysteries-- though usually inaccurately, as I decided that Larsson had thrown us off and that Berger was the real bad guy! (And, no, that is NOT a spoiler alert...) The problem with a great series is that it must come to an end. As with The Spellman Books, I really hate saying goodbye to my new BFFs, or, in the case of Salander, to the crazy chick that kinda scares me!
To that end, I was thrilled to discover Camilla Lackberg's The Ice Princess. Lackberg is also a Swedish crime novelist. So, just as all American authors of the same genre write the same stories (I often confuse the works of Louisa May Alcott and Danielle Steele, don't you??) I figured this book would easily fill the void left by Salander's departure.
Obviously, I was wrong. Lackberg isn't Danielle Steele, but she writes a much less enthralling story than does Larsson. To put it in context, my mother could read this book. She's also not quite as strong of a writer as Larsson. That said, I really enjoyed this book and was very happy with the follow up, The Preacher, as well. Her mysteries are solvable, but interesting. Her story lines are well plotted and her characters are well developed.
The title character in the first book is a woman named Alex who is found dead (and, as you'd expect, frozen) in her small town on the Swedish coast. The book attempts to find out who killed her and why. Much of the story actually focuses on Alex's childhood best friend, Erica, who is kind, generous, and good. She is an infinitely more likable character than Salander, though not nearly as interesting.
I'll leave the plot there for you to discover on your own. This book and it's companion aren't going to change your world, make you laugh or become classics. But, they're good and hearty, will fill you up and satisfy. Much like a Swedish meatball...