Sunday, December 9, 2012

'The Stonecutter'

It's Christmastime  and people are running hither and yon, in search of the perfect gifts.  It's party time, food time, stress time.  In my opinion, the worst of it is the music.  Don't get me wrong:  I really enjoy Christmas music, but in small doses.  If you are a retail worker, you know that Christmas music tears apart your soul to the point that you want to pull out a gun and shoot the overhead speakers.

But I have a better suggestion.  When you, long-suffering retail worker, get home, pick up a good mystery novel, settle into a comfy chair, and let a phenomenal author take care of that stress.

Camilla Läckberg, author of the Patrik Hedström mystery series ('The Ice Princess' and 'The Preacher'), brings us the third book about Patrik and Erica and the mysteries that call for their investigative skills.

Erica and Patrik are now parents to a baby girl, and although they have read various books on raising a child, they are overwhelmed with the responsibility.  Erica is suffering from postpartum depression, and Patrik is spending just a bit too much time at the police station.  But when a child is found murdered, he finds himself devoting even more time and energy to the case, which keeps him from nurturing not only his child, but also his life partner.  

Although I loved Camilla's first two books in the series, 'The Stonecutter' had me absolutely involved.  Did the rich, retired neighbor do it?  Or was it his sworn enemy?  Could it have been the mentally-challenged boy?  My mind was doing the old 'back-and-forth' as I tried to figure out who did the deed.  It kept me reading and the challenge was too good to be true.  Camilla adds a bit of backstory to this saga; the history of a horrendous woman and the man she destroys.  It all adds up...and the fun is in the guessing.  

But it is always Patrik and Erica and their delicate relationship that keeps me turning the pages.  Add a newborn and the pages turn even faster.  I appreciated the fact that Ms. Läckberg writes about postpartum depression in such a vital way; not only does Erica have to deal with it, but she also has to comfort the friend who lost her child to a murderer's rage. 

So, sit back and read.  Ignore the music, but celebrate the holiday in one of the the best ways possible:  With a good cup of tea, a soft chair, and the possibility of escape via a wonderful mystery.    

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