Wow. That was fast.
I added this book to my library list when I read a blurb about it on USAToday (great iPhone app, BTW). It didn't take long for me to snag it so I decided to read it after I finished The Sorcerer's Stone.
I started Thursday evening and finished it yesterday. All ~400 pages.
It was soooo good. This fits the category of "page turner". I could not stop, nor did I want to stop, reading this book. I have found yet another author that I will find time to read the rest of her books.
This is another import from Sweden, an "Agatha Christie" type (ala Stieg Larsson), also set in Sweden. The description of the area is "spot on"...not spot on as in "Wow, I remember it just as she described" but spot on as in I have a very detailed vision of the countryside based on her amazing description in her novel.
[spoiler alert; stop here if you want to enjoy the book as I did, with very little knowledge of it]
The first page captured me right away: a first-person account of seeing a beautiful woman, an obsession, dead and half-frozen in a bathtub. These first-person accounts pepper most of the intros to each chapter (which are far and few between).
We soon meet several characters, the main being Erica. I love Erica. Erica is the second person who finds the beautiful frozen princess. She also happens to be the ex best childhood friend of the dead girl, Alex.
Erica is an author of biographies. She's a small town celebrity in her seaside town of Fjällbacka. But her home base is Stockholm and had to come back to Fjällbacka to settle the estate of her parents, who were killed in a car crash. She becomes, inadvertently, involved in the entire murder case...and meets an old classmate, Patrik, who is the lead investigator of the investigation.
The mystery, for me, is never really figured out until a bit towards the end. I don't know if it was because I was that dense, or because it is so rich in character development. She has sections on several people in the first-person and nearly every one of them is interesting to the core.
She also injects great humor in the story lines, that seem a bit unusual due to the nature of the story...but it absolutely worked 1000% (that's for you, Tim).
The end? It was excellent. While it almost wrapped everything up with a big bow, it still worked in a non-cheesy way. The best thing, to me, was that most, if not all, mysteries were solved and explained.
I am loving the Swedes. I have Girl with the Dragon Tattoo waiting for me (Tim's reading it now, so it may be awhile before I get to it) and my favorite movie of last year (that I can't stop telling people to watch) is Swedish.