The Farm

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Tom Rob Smith

Title:  The Farm

The Farm is a psychological thriller that centers around a 29 year old torn between his two parents.  Which one do you believe?  His father claims his mother has had a mental breakdown,  while his mother insists she has unearthed a conspiracy of murder involving his father. The reader witnesses this drama unfold through Daniel’s eyes as family secrets and deceptions are laid to bare.  Ultimately, the plot boils down to how well do we really know are parents. This is a quick read  with a very unexpected twist.

The Ice Princess

From Eileen Effrat
author: Lackberg, Camilla
 The Ice Princess
This is the first book translated into English of one of Sweden’s premier crime writers. This is a police procedural set in a small Swedish coastal town. The main character, Erica Falck, returns to her small town roots to find a former childhood friend dead in a bathtub. Suicide or murder?

What follows is an investigation that digs into very unpleasant twenty-five year old secrets.  The main plot is excellent, although there are a little too many subplots for me. I suspect this is done to introduce familiar characters to the sequel, The Preacher, to be translated into English in 2011.  The description of a small Swedish town and the city of Goteborg gave me a good glimpse of present day Swedish society.  This is my second foray into Swedish crime fiction after Steig Larsson. I am a devout fan of two Icelandic crime writers, Indriaason and Sigurdardottir.  I have added Lackberg to my list of not to be missed Nordic crime writers.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

From Susan Wolff
author: Stieg, Larsson
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The story takes place in Sweeden and starts out when an Octogenarian Industrialist hires a journalist (Blomkvist) to solve the mystery of his niece who disappeared 40 years earlier. The main character Lisbeth Salander (the girl with the dragon tattoo) teams up with the journalist to solve the mystery. The book deals with dark issues of sexual violence against women and Sweden’s facist groups. Although the book took some time to get me hooked, I recommend this crime thriller and look forward to reading the other 2 books in the series: “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”