Title: The Stonecutter
Author: Camilla Lackberg
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Free Press
Genre: Crime Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When the body of a young girl is pulled out of the ocean by a fisherman, it’s sad for everyone involved. But what makes Detective Patrik Hedstrom bereft is that he knows this young girl. Her name is Sara, and she’s the seven-year-old daughter of one of Patrik’s girlfriend’s friends. Meanwhile, Erika, Patrik’s girlfriend, is at home with their young daughter, Maja, grappling with issues of her own.
The Stonecutter is the third book in the Patrik Hedstrom/Erika Falck series, and it might just be the best of them all so far. The book begins with the chilling, tragic death of a child. How she died is one of the driving forces of the story; Lackberg takes the reader on unexpected twists and turns as she leads them to that answer. It’s very well plotted and paced; while previous books in the series have been slow at times, despite this novel’s 500+ page length, it seems like it flies by.
The narrative structure of The Stonecutter is also effective in increasing suspense and delivering the story in an interesting way. Juxtaposed against the story of Sara’s death is the tale of a stonecutter named Anders who lived many years before Patrik and Erika. Readers will wonder how he relates to the plot, and though these asides can seem frustrating, taking away from the main story, readers must have faith that Lackberg will deliver. And indeed, when she connects these two storylines, it’s explosive and jaw dropping.
Erika’ story in The Stonecutter is a secondary narrative that weaves through the plot. She’s at home with her screaming baby, Maja, while Patrik gets to go off and interact with the adult world. She’s resentful, and while she loves her baby, she’s losing her mind slightly. It’s clear that Erika is suffering from a form of postpartum depression, and it’s sad that no one takes it seriously. Still, it’s wonderful to see how frankly Lackberg depicts new motherhood. Erika is an incredibly strong woman, but she’s waylaid by this baby.
If you’re looking for an engaging crime novel, The Stonecutter is a great choice. There’s no need to read the first two books in the series, The Ice Princess and The Preacher first; you can jump straight into this book as a standalone if you’d prefer. It’s a great mystery that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.
Other books by Camilla Lackberg: