The Ice Princess, by Camilla Läckberg [Book Review]
This has to be one of the worst mystery novels I’ve read so far. In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be ‘mystery’. More like ‘character discovers x clue, reader is not told what it actually contains, character suddenly reveals it much later on in a really dramatic, Scooby-Doo fashion’. And this happened throughout all the book.
Then there was the narrative. In the beginning, I thought it was a translation issue. Verbal tenses seemed inconsistent, there was some really awkward phrasing, a lot of events seemed to be mentioned more than once without adding anything. But no; that was simply the style of the writer. Dull and repetitive. Sometimes really irrelevant descriptions of places, situations or characters were made. Sometimes those descriptions were retold, just because.
Then there were the characters themselves: extremely flat and boring. No spark of intelligence whatsoever (except maybe the old lady with the garden gnomes), no self respect in any of the female characters, no improvement, no complex way of viewing life. In fact, all characters seemed to be tired, bored and exasperated of living itself. Sometimes the description of the narrator or of one of the other characters would go on saying that X or Y was like this and like that, when in fact, X or Y would be way too simplistic of a character to be able to hold onto such an image.
As for the mystery itself: once you had all the clues (and boy, was there a problem with them being revealed), it was really logical and dull. No surprises here; no intricate puzzle; just event A leading to event B.
Review written on Goodreads back in 2012.