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The Stranger (Fjällbacka) Hardcover – May 1, 2013

154 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Compelling characters compensate for a lackluster plot in Läckberg’s latest thriller set in the remote Swedish village of Fjallbacka. This time around, veteran detective Patrik Hedström investigates a fatal crash involving a local shop owner. Hedström fears foul play when he learns that the victim, a teetotaler, had an astonishingly high blood-alcohol level.Turns out, a few unsolved cases over the years had similar circumstances, and Hedström considers the possibility that they are all connected. Adding to the detective’s woes is an obnoxious reality show (is there any other kind?) that has descended upon Fjallbacka. Ratings climb through the roof when one of the “surgically enhanced” contestants, nicknamed Barbie, is killed. Could there be a murderer among the cast or crew? Meanwhile, Hedström welcomes a new member to the police force, smart and comely Hanna Kruse, whose psychiatrist husband has the unsavory assignment of counseling the reality-show recruits. Fans of Läckberg (The Stonecutter, 2012), who ranks among Sweden’s most popular authors, should enjoy the eclectic collection of personalities in this latest offering. --Allison Block

Review

“If Camilla keeps producing mysteries as richly textured and downright breathtaking as her latest, who knows? Maybe, one day, we might be identifying Agatha Christie as ‘the British Camilla Läckberg.'” (Maureen Corrigan, NPR)

“One of those mysteries that ruin a vacation. Take it to the beach and your eyes will be so locked on its pages, you’ll never even know there’s an ocean in front of you.” (The Washington Post)

“Fire and ice! Masterful suspense as compelling as secrets lying far beneath the dark sea. Läckberg is the perfect crime novelist who combines her gift for intriguingly complicated plots and a keen understanding of the ‘grotesques’ who live among us. Erotic and terrifying.” (Ann Rule, author of In the Still of the Night)

“Eerie.  Läckberg will keep you guessing.” (People)
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Product Details

  • Series: Fjällbacka (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605984256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605984254
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,486 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Chris Engleman on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
First of all, I would like to say the the reviews that have given this book one star are unfair and should be ignored. They have given that low rating because of the formatting in the Kindle version. No remarks on the book, just complaints about Kindle. If they had read the book as written, they probably would have enjoyed it as much as I did. I really like this series with Erica and Patrick which includes their life and family situations as well as the crime that Patrick is investigating at the time. They and their friends and the other policemen and
family continue to change along with the times. I like that personal touch.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A year or so ago, I was pretty much ready to give up on Nordic crime. Harry Hole was too drunken, Salander was too weird, and frankly the whole genre seemed too angst-ridden and downright miserable to be enjoyable...and I say that as someone hardened by years of dealing with drunks and screwed-up mavericks - all fictional, of course! At the time of my disillusionment, a fellow Amazon reviewer tried to get me to read Läckberg, promising that she was different. Finally, I've followed that advice - and I'm so glad I did! Patrik Hedström is that rare and precious creature - a sober, likeable, intelligent detective who works within the rules and has a happy home life. And in this story he proves that that can be considerably more interesting and much more enjoyable than reading yet one more description of binge-drinking, hangovers and cowboy policing.

When Patrik is called to the scene of a fatal car accident, it looks like a straightforward case of drunken driving. But the woman driver was teetotal and Patrik suspects that there may be more to the accident than meets the eye. Meantime the town has been invaded by a reality TV show starring a group of C-List celebs whose claim to fame is that they are willing to get outrageously drunk, party all night and have sex as often as they can, and all with the cameras rolling. This is problem enough, but when one of the celebs turns up dead in a bin, Patrik has two cases to deal with. So it's lucky there's a new member of the team - Hanna, an experienced and efficient officer has transferred to the district - especially since more deaths are on the way...

Well written, and well translated by Steven T Murray, this is an intriguing police procedural with a dark and complex plot and a satisfying conclusion.
Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paula Sabo on August 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book was originally called Gallow's Bird, and i bought it under that name and also as The Stranger. I should have been told that i was buying the same book, under two different titles. Sadly, I now have two copies of the same book....one more costly than the other! Amazon should alert customers to the fact that books have two different titles.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Julie Jackson on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has been my favorite Camilla Lackberg book to date. The murder mystery aside, this was a wonderful take of the characters I have grown to love. I found myself smiling at the personal developments for Erica, Anna, Melberg. Great!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Noble on June 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms Lackberg has created believable characters, trying to uphold the law in a small law abiding community. She is able to catch the reader's attention and hold it to the end of the current case. As the case is solved, you can feel the relief in Patrik, his wife and the entire police station. As the reader, it is a quick search in Amazon for the next book. I certainly hope Patrik has a long career.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm trying to put my finger on what made this crime novel so much fun to read. For one thing, it's a feast of life stories and love stories. There are a great many characters, and their lives are fascinating to follow. There are various couples in various states of bliss, suffering, deception and crisis. And happily, the lead detective, Patrik Hedstrom, is an intelligent, purposeful and essentially happy man in love with his partner, about to marry her, and crazy about their little daughter. This gives an upbeat quality to the narrative, which is very welcome in a mystery full of distressing murders.

Yet despite all the human interest, this is a nitty-gritty police procedural replete with autopsies, interviews and research, all well described. The several cops at the Tanumshede police station are engaging and some of them surprise the reader with unexpected insights. I liked them all. Even the unpleasant boss is somewhat sympathetic.

While two murder investigations keep the cops busy, a reality show is being filmed in Tanumshede. This adds a nice touch of chaos to the plot.

The denouement is full of surprises. I admired the inventiveness of the author in developing the backstory behind the killings.

My husband gave me this book. He liked it a lot, so it's not chick lit, despite the presence of some highly romantic episodes. I found The Stranger a very satisfying read, so much so that I've ordered four more books by Camilla Lackberg.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fjallbaca, Sweden, the home of Detective Patrik Hedstrom, is about to receive it's first group of Reality TV stars. A local entrepreneur has arranged this group of unconventional people to live and be televised in his home town, expecting a lot of good PR and finances to make this an excellent adventure.

At the same time Patrik has received a call about a body found in a car. Just as he is to go out the front door, his new policewoman shows up. She is pretty and blonde and very energetic, her goal is to become Chief in a large city. At the scene Patrik feels something is off but can't quite place it. A local woman, with a strong smell of alcohol is dead behind the wheel of the car. As the investigation moves on, Patrik's 'gut feeling' is born out. His boss, Mellberg, the man who does nothing, finds a new outside life and Patrik proceeds with his investigation the way it should be done.

At home, Patrik and Erica are planning their wedding, or, at least, they are planning to be married. Erica's sister, Anna, and her two children live with them. Anna has had a tragic event take place and is deep in depression. The one unusual event that takes place that jars Anna out of her depression is so far fetched that it is not believable.

As the Reality TV series amps up, many unpleasant events occur, and another body is discovered. Patrik is the man of the hour, and one of the best detectives in a series. He has a sixth sense when something is not right, and he goes to great lengths to follow up on every lead. He and Erica are the personification of a real couple, loving, supportive, and tired, all the time. A new baby, Maja has brightened their lives, and left them exhausted. A true representation of the life of new parents.

Camilla Lackberg has given us another excellent novel. Lots of twists and turns, and ethical dilemmas to discuss.

Recommended. prisrob 10-19-13
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