AUTHOR CASE FILE: CAMILLA LÄCKBERG
Camilla Läckberg is one of those authors whose books I will simply always buy. I discovered her long before starting Crime by the Book, and have been trying to find reasons to recommend her books to everyone ever since! Now, with the publication of THE LOST BOY in the U.S., it’s the perfect moment for me to introduce you to her series. Without further ado, consider this your case file on Camilla.
Author: Camilla Läckberg
Known For: The Detective Patrik Hedstrom series, aka the Fjallbacka series, aka the Erica Falck series -- all different names for the same thing!
Series Setting: Fjallbacka, Sweden – a small seaside town
Main Characters: Detective Patrik Hedstrom (main police officer), Erica Falck (journalist turned true-crime writer)
Key Characteristics Of The Series: endearing characters, brooding atmosphere, fast-paced writing
Perfect For Fans Of: Scandinavian crime fiction, character-driven books, authors Sara Blaedel and Åsa Larsson
But NOT The Same As: procedural-heavy Scandinavian crime authors like Jussi Adler-Olsen, Arnaldur Indridason, and Håkan Nesser (if those authors are more your style, check out Mons Kallentoft next!)
Avoid If: you’re looking for a mystery with absolutely no romance in it – these books are not romances by any stretch of the imagination, but they do include a (very heartwarming!) relationship between two characters.
Books in Order (in English): The Ice Princess, The Preacher, The Stonecutter, The Stranger (aka The Gallows Bird in the UK), The Hidden Child, The Drowning, The Lost Boy, Buried Angels, The Ice Child
*Plus: The Scent of Almonds, a novella published in 2007.
My experience reading Läckberg’s books:
I first discovered The Ice Princess during my come-down from reading Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series. I was desperately searching for another series that would expand my horizons within Scandinavian crime fiction, and which included characters I could fall for as hard as I had fallen for Harry Hole. While no character could ever replace Harry in my heart, Läckberg’s books introduced me to a whole other family of characters to love.
I immediately fell for Läckberg’s winning combination of gritty crime fiction and endearing characters—a combination that is hard to pull off successfully, but which Läckberg achieves in spades. The characters truly make this series: Erica is a personal literary hero of mine, as I'm sure she is for many readers. An intrepid journalist, Erica's professional and personal lives first collide in The Ice Princess, when her childhood friend is found brutally murdered. Erica takes it upon herself to investigate her friend's murder with all her journalistic resources—and winds up assisting local police in the case. From there, the series takes off, with Erica becoming an integral part of investigations region-wide. I simply love the concept of a crime series based on a female writer with moxie and guts to tackle even the grittiest topics in her work.
On top of the lovable and unforgettable characters, Läckberg’s books are just plain good crime writing. Läckberg capitalizes upon all the qualities that makes Scandinavian crime fiction so exceptional: she incorporates the grit, atmosphere, and unflinching attitude of the genre into her series effortlessly. But what really makes her books a standout is their heart—there are many compelling Scandinavian crime series out there, but Läckberg has injected the genre with a personality all her own.
I absolutely recommend this series, and encourage you to give it a try if it sounds up your alley! If you're reading this before 10/9/16, I'm hosting a giveaway on Instagram with Läckberg’s publisher, and I'd love for you to join. Enter the giveaway here!