Dec. 8, 2016

Part Mystery, Part Soap Opera, which isn't a real good mix...

The Lost Boy by Camilla Läckberg

My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance reading copy of this book. You ladies rock!

It is incredibly difficult to argue with success! As this is the seventh in the series featuring Detective Patrick Hedstrom and his author wife Erica Falck to be published in English, Camilla Läckberg is definitely doing something right! The book jacket proudly proclaims this as a “#1 worldwide bestseller!”

As the book begins we meet Nathalie, who is fleeing Stockholm, heading to a small island with her son. The Island is called Graskar, the Island of Ghosts, where, according to legend, those who die there never leave…

Our heroes, Patrik Hedstrom, detective and his wife Erica Falck, an author, are recovering from a car wreck that evidently took place at the end of the previous novel. He and Erica have twins that were delivered by cesarean after the accident. But Erica’s sister Anna and her husband Dan lost a child in the accident…

There is no rest for the wounded, as a murder investigation into the death of Mats Sverin, the local council’s financial director sends Patrik back into fieldwork. Mats was discovered in his room shot through the head. Patrik must do an exhaustive research mission to see if something in the man’s past could have contributed to his murder. He had worked for a women’s shelter…

There is an undercurrent story, a mystery from 1870; the story of the first light house keeper at Ghost Isle, his family, and the mysterious disappearance of everyone one stormy winter night. This is in my opinion the best part, a little historical romp as a side dish to the main mystery!

The actual mystery isn’t bad, quite plausible, and the historical mystery just right! However; there is the soap opera part. The interplay of the families of the police, their highs and lows, triumphs, tragedies, and just plain scandal and gossip was a bit much. I didn’t like that part at all…

 If this had been only the murder mystery and historical flashbacks, they could have cut the book by at least 100 pages and tightened the whole novel. I would give the mystery three stars, but I take one back for the ongoing soap opera. A little of that goes a very long way…

Quoth the Raven…

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