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The Stonecutter Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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“Narrator David Thorn makes the Swedish names accessible in a way print does not. His tongue glides over the unfamiliar pronunciations, leaving the listener engaged in the story, which stretches back to the 1920s. Even the red herrings take you somewhere you need to go. . . . This is a must purchase.”
Thorn is a master of building and lessening suspense by altering pacing and inflections, allowing characters’ inner dialogues to clearly contrast with their spoken words. As the plot draws to a conclusion, Thorn outdoes himself voicing the murderer’s reactions to being caught, convicted, and imprisoned. Another winner from Läckberg.”
“[David Thorn] managed to maintain the continuity of the narration through-out and it was an easy listen.”
Dee’s Book Blog
“Listening to the audio book was great fun. . . . I highly recommend . . . especially for fans of Nordic crime novels.”
—Chaos Is A Friend of Mine Blog
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Top customer reviews
The story of the past is about a Stonecutter, and a wealthy spoiled young lady whose lives become intertwined
The present is about a child who is found drowned
Patrick is the police officer on the case. His wife, Erika, recently had a baby and is having trouble adjusting. Patrick and Erika live a few houses from the parents who lost their child - the mother of the child is Erikas friend
The characters are well developed. And as several people have stated it is not an uplifting story - but it is, however, a good one :) Not all stories end well - just like real life
We first meet the stonecutter of the title in 1923. We follow him, the young woman he falls in love with, and their descendants through the nine decades that follow. Meanwhile, in alternating scenes, we find our way back into the lives of Läckberg‘s two protagonists, detective Patrik Hedström and crime writer Ericka Falck, who are now living together with their two-month-old daughter. Ericka is experiencing post-partum depression and resents all the time Patrik spends on his job. The resentment multiplies when he is assigned to the case of a seven-year-old girl who has been found floating dead by the shore.
Given that The Stonecutter is a mystery novel, we naturally expect that the two plotlines will somehow intersect. But that’s a long way coming. In the course of the story, we are introduced to the lives of the dead girl’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and next-door neighbors, Patrik’s mother, Ericka’s sister, and four of Patrik’s colleagues at the Tanumshede police station. And these are just the major characters! Läckberg drills down deeply enough into all their lives that we feel we’ve met them. Unfortunately, so many of them are stupid, self-destructive, psychotic, or otherwise deeply damaged that we’re left shivering by the end. Läckberg is a skillful writer, but it would be a stretch to say that her novels are fun to read.
Altho the author pulled together a clever little surprise in one of the way too many outlying characters/plots, all in all, I found this book uninspired, poorly organized and lacking any degree of focus. It seemed more like a first draft than the final. The author's obsession (think OCD) throughout with tortured details and TMI about new mothers makes one presume that the topic of nursing mothers and childbirth is overwhelming in her life. She would be well advised to keep it to herself and keep it out of her mystery books.
Ironically, the character for which the novel is named was in and out without any substantial character development. I was left wondering what came of the big sculpture project he was assigned, which received significant attention initially and then just fell off the author's radar as did many details along the way.
By the time I forced myself to the last page, I would have given it maybe 3 stars, but the last sentence made me feel I'd been reeled into a cheap trick. Shame on Ms. Lackberg for underestimating her readers' intelligence and patience. She should leave the formulaic series approach to experienced, talented authors.
We visited this small seaside village in Sweden where the books take place. The town is very picturesque but also incredibly tiny, which is what makes the number of people murdered there in this series so suspicious! In her efforts to show deep character development, for many characters it feels like delving into their misery and malice dominate over any actual growth or complexity.
There are a few exceptions to this, of course. The depiction of the character with autism was a good addition because it highlights how adults with autism can be very high-functioning in some areas (able to do a highly-skilled computer programming job) but not able to function very well without help in other tasks of daily living due to rigidity and difficulty understanding others. I have met a number of autistic adults that would not be too different from the one described here. As the awareness of autism and its complexity increases, hopefully some of the problems like those encountered by this character in the book will decrease.