The Lost Boy

Detective Patrik Hedstrom is in charge of a murder investigation in Fjällbacka, Sweden; his wife, Erica Falck, is a writer with extra time on her hands. She is on maternity leave after the birth of their twins, and it happens that she went to high school with the victim, Mats Sverin, the city's financial director.

Erica and Patrik's relationship is amusing, charming and a nice counterbalance to the more disturbing aspects of the case. The police investigation, with Erica's unofficial assistance, soon expands to include Mats's high school sweetheart, Nathalie, who owns a tiny island just off the coast of Fjällbacka--an island with a murky history of its own.

Camilla Läckberg (The Drowning, The Ice Princess) has a knack for creating very believable characters and for mixing the funny moments in everyday life (like how hard it is to have time for sex while raising small children) with dark and twisty crimes that will keep the reader hooked. Fans of other Scandinavian investigators, like Henning Mankell's Wallander and Stieg Larsson's Blomkvist and Salander, are sure to love Patrik and Erica. Some shocking developments are quite likely to keep the midnight oil burning, although thankfully this novel doesn't end with quite as much of a cliffhanger as some of Läckberg's other titles. In fact, The Lost Boy could easily be read as a standalone, although following Patrik and Erica's relationship from the beginning is much more fun. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

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