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The Preacher: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Swedish bestseller Läckberg's worthy second thriller set in the coastal town of Fjällbacka (after The Ice Princess) opens with a grim discovery—the naked fresh corpse of Tanja Schmidt, a German tourist, on top of the skeletal remains of two young women, later identified as Mona Thernblad and Siv Lantin. All three were killed in the same way, but as Det. Patrik Hedström and his team soon discover, Mona and Siv went missing in 1979, and Johannes Hult, the prime suspect in their disappearances, is long dead. The reason for a sadistic killer's reappearance may be hidden among the many secrets and conflicts of a local clan of religious eccentrics. The troubled Hults, from conniving founder (known as the Preacher) to philandering spouses, show a Ross Macdonaldesque love of twisted family relationships, while Läckberg's colorful, diverse police force, staffed with the competent, the incompetent, and the merely distracted, recalls the humanist touch of Dutch author Janwillem van de Wetering. (May) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A welcome addition to the swelling ranks of Scandinavian crime writers! A good, solid read.”
      ―Irish Independent
(Library Journal)

“[Läckberg] is an expert at mixing scenes of domestic cosiness with blood-curdling horror! A must for white-knuckle junkies.”
      ―Guardian
(Booklist)

“Läckberg’s many-layered story features plot twists and turns galore. Especially effective are her flashbacks . . . Highly recommended for readers who like mysteries set in foreign countries.”
      ―Library Journal
(Washington Post)

“Fans of Stieg Larsson novels hungry for brooding explorations of the dark side of Swedish society will find much to appreciate in Läckberg’s second mystery, following The Ice Princess. . . . [Narrator David] Thorn’s gravelly baritone underlines the brutal murders and ominous undercurrents, fueled by dark family secrets.”
       —Booklist
(The Bookwatch)

“A clever plot and in-depth characterization aren’t the only qualities that elevate The Preacher above most other thrillers. . . .The Preacher can go up against the Larsson books head-on when it comes to narrative drive and skillful exploration of family secrets.”
       —Washington Post


“Springs to life in audio.”
       —The Bookwatch
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451621792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451621792
  • ASIN: 1451621795
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,112,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1974, Camilla Läckberg graduated from Gothenburg University of Economics, before moving to Stockholm where she worked for a few years as an economist. However, a course in creative writing triggered a drastic change of career. Her first six novels all became Swedish No. 1 bestsellers. She lives in a suburb of Stockholm.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(3.5 stars) As readers of Camilla Lackberg's previous novel, The Ice Princess, have discovered, Fjallbacka, Sweden, a small fishing village in western Sweden, holds many secrets, some of them involving murder. Chief Investigator Patrik Englund is enjoying a much-needed vacation when he learns that a six-year-old has discovered a woman's naked and beaten body near a ravine. Underneath that body are the skeletons of two more women who disappeared in 1979. Autopsies prove that all three had been slowly tortured over the course of many days before merciful death interceded. Through flashbacks to 1979, when the first deaths occurred, the story develops into a murderous saga which may involve the Hult family, whose family patriarch, Ephraim Hult, was a highly successful evangelical preacher, and whose two sons Johannes and Gabriel had supernatural healing powers when they were children. Ephraim is now dead, and his sons are enemies as a result of Ephraim's will.

The author spends as much time on the lives and motivations of her characters as she does on plot development, and when yet another young girl disappears from town, Patrik and his crew (which also has their own frictions and rivalries) realize they may have a chance to find her before she dies of the same tortures which were inflicted on the previous young women. Dozens of complications, which are revealed through the family backgrounds, psychology, and interactions of the police officers, the victims, and the various members of the Hult family keep the tension high as Lackberg involves the whole community in a wide assortment of clues and red herrings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Preacher" is Swedish author Camilla Lackberg's second police procedural mystery, and I have to say that I preferred her first, "The Ice Princess". In this follow-up novel,also set in the Swedish coastal town of Fjallbacka, a female German tourist's body is found atop two skeletons which turn out to be the remains of two young women who went missing in 1979. Patrik Hedstrom, the policeman who helped crack the murder case in "The Ice Princess" returns in this second novel with a much more prominent role. He is now married to Erica, the author from the first novel who played a major role in solving the murder in "The Ice Princess". Though it isn't necessary to read "The Ice Princess" before this second novel, there is quite a bit of background information provided in the first novel about some of the recurring characters such as Erica, Patrik, and Erica's sister Anna. Patrik is put in charge of the investigation, and as the investigators dig deeper, they find that all clues point to the Hult family, comprising patriarch Gabriel, his wife Liane, children Linda and Jacob, and also Gabriel's estranged nephews Robert and Stefan and their mother Solveig. When another young girl goes missing, Patrik and his team find themselves racing against the clock to locate the girl, even as they find themselves faced with dead ends and false clues.

"The Preacher" is quite weak in comparison to "The Ice Princess" - firstly, I was disappointed that Erica does not play a major role in this investigation. Instead she is relegated to playing the expectant mom and wife who has to deal with pesky relatives invading her home during the hot summer months.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good book..fine follow up after the princess...many story lines going on the same time..after two books you feel like you belong in the city and can relate to all the different side stories9get rid of sisters husband, please....I HOPE CAMILLA CONTINUES DEVELOPING ALL THE SECONDARDARY PLOTS..THANK YOU FOR WRITING AN ENJOYABE SERIES...CJC
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Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed reading the Ice Princess thought sometimes long winded. When I started reading The Preacher I was shocked by the quality of the translation, It is primary school English combined with a lack of feeling for the book. Therefore it is hard to say if it is the translators fault that the storyline is uneven and unfinished or if Lackbers original lacked so much substance that the translator had a hard time reading through the novel. Lackberg is trying hard to establish several characters in her book with their own drama. This may create a longer novel but the main character Patrik Hedestroem becomes a second grade detective and the experienced crime reader will find so many holes in the plot that he /she will think twice before purchasing another Lackberg novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked the Ice Princess, but this sequel is just bad. The good guys are all doormats; I wanted to shake them. And the plot is the most convoluted and ridiculous one I've read in a long time.

Add to that the unbelievably poor editing of the Kindle edition. Words dropped, run together. I highlighted over 300 before my fingers got tired.
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Format: Paperback
"The Preacher" (Predikanten) is the second of Camilla Läckberg's mystery novels. I haven't read the first one, The Ice Princess, but that didn't cause any trouble for me as this works as a standalone novel.

A young girl is found murdered together with the remains of two young girls who were reported missing 24 years ago and never found. Patrik, a local police, tries to find the murderer and figure out the connection between the murder and the previous disappearances. Meanwhile, his wife Erica is at home, pregnant, and there's quite a lot of focus on their family life and especially a subplot involving Erica's sister Anne's problems with the men in her life that takes a bit too much focus off the main plot, the murder mystery, without adding anything to the novel. It's still a decent mystery novel with a well constructed mystery, although I can think of some minor plot holes that I won't go into so as not to spoil anything.

The Preacher is a readable but not great mystery novel. 3 stars.
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