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Lackberg, Camilla - 'The Preacher' (translated by Steven T Murray)
Hardback: 400 pages (Feb. 2009) Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ISBN: 000727095X

Twenty years ago, two holiday makers disappeared from the tourist town of Fjallbacka. Now a young boy has discovered the bodies along with a third, which seems to be fresh.

Detective Patrik Hedstrom is on vacation. His partner, Erica, is expecting their first child in less than a month. Fjallbacka is experiencing a heatwave and Erica is restless and short-tempered so when Patrik receives a phone call cutting short his holiday he isn't too upset.

Attention focuses on the Hult family; a family divided by the suicide of one member, who was the prime suspect in the disappearance of the holiday makers. It is also a family divided by wealth: one branch inherited the estate and has prospered, the other lives in poverty. This is a family of misfits, religious fanatics and criminals. A rich vein of suspects in anyone's book.

Patrik also has to deal with Erica and the unwanted visitors who keep turning up on their doorstep wanting to take advantage of their hospitality for a cheap holiday during the summer season.

These days translated books are things of quality. If it wasn't for the name of the translator in the book you'd never know that it wasn't originally written in English. The other upside of translated books is that rarely do the publishers go to the extra cost of hiring a translator if the book is a dud.

THE PREACHER is a first rate detective novel. The mystery really sucks you in, there are clues and red herrings scattered everywhere. I changed my mind about the murderer a number of times while reading the book. I'd think I had it nailed and Lackberg would throw in another twist. I figured it out about the same time as the author revealed whodunit.

Read another review of THE PREACHER.

Sunnie Gill, Australia
June 2009

Sunnie blogs at Sunnie's Book Blog.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 28/08/2011 09:32