I am pretty much obsessed with mysteries and thrillers right now and have been reading a lot of Scandinavian authors. Late last year, I read book one in this series and enjoyed it. The Preacher is overall a solid installment and well-written thriller.
Patrik Hedstrom, police detective, is taking a vacation with his very pregnant girlfriend, Erica. When a murder occurs in his jurisdiction, he is called back in to help find the killer. A young woman’s corpse is found with two skeletons beneath her. The search leads Patrik to discover some terrible truths about a local family.
Lackberg does a great job pacing the story to hold the reader’s interest throughout. She gives us just enough information to keep us guessing. In general, the characters are also well-developed and believable. A few twists along the way didn’t hurt either. Writing a dark thriller takes talent. Lackberg has talent in spades.
I had a few minor issues where things seemed forced in order to move the story in the right direction. But, my biggest frustration was with Erica’s characterization. She was, in many ways, the main player in book one. We can put aside the fact that she and Patrik just started dating seriously in book one and now are living together and 8-months pregnant. And, the fact that Patrik sometimes calls her his girlfriend and sometimes his wife. That could have been lost in translation. However, in The Preacher, she became a hausfrau. Vibrant, intelligent Erica became the woman who is staying at home and entertaining uninvited guests. Seriously, that’s really all that she did and I cannot understand why Lackberg chose to give her such a back-seat and somewhat insulting role here. I probably will read book three just to see if Lackberg is able to redeem herself through Erica.
If I forgive Erica’s misfortune, it was a good book. So I’m saying 3.5/5 stars. But, I am disappointed.