In the fishing community of Fjallbacka, life is remote, peaceful -- and for some, tragically short. Foul play was always suspected in the disappearance twenty years ago of two young holidaymakers in the area. Now a young boy out playing has confirmed this grim truth. Their remains, discovered with those of a fresh victim, send the town into shock. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom, expecting a baby with his girlfriend Erica, can only imagine what it is like to lose a child. When a second young girl goes missing, Hedstrom's attention focuses on the Hults, a feuding clan of misfits, relgious fanatics and criminals. The suspect list is long but time is short -- which of this family's dark secrets will provide the vital clue?
Comment: The second book in the series by this Swedish author. The first one was a very enjoyable read and now I've read the second one.
The action takes place several months after the end of the first book. In that one, Erica, the main character reconnected with Patrick, a friend from school and they started dating. Now, Erica's pregnant and it's almost her due time to have the baby. It's summer and some relatives want to spend they vacations at Erica and Patrick's house, because it's so close to the beach. This means poor Erica has to cook and clean and no one seems to care that she has such a hard time just walking because of her belly.
At the same time, Patrick has to deal with a murder scenes and all that comes with it. A young girl is found dead on top of the remains of two others and the crimes don't seem to be related but in the end the connection is stronger than we think. On top of it, it's the connection to the Preacher's family and the secrets that family has are everywhere.
About the crimes: there's a whole cast of characters that are linked to the crimes and some of them seem very mysterious and act strangely. Slowly we get more clues about who is involved and why the murders occurred in the first place. I was very intrigued by it and the way the author inserts clues here and there like it's no big deal made me even more eager to know more. The end is quite a surprise and the last scene is very memorizing, in my opinion.
About the main character's lives: Erica is heavily pregnant and the relatives we see around her don't help and think she's there to serve them and this annoyed me a bit, I mean, it's fine you want to spend some time with family but considering her condition it was expected a little more help at least. I like how the author mixes up family scenes and the murder scenes, it gives a more relaxes feel to the story, like it's not that dark.
The secondary characters are interesting, specially Mellberg, once again his adventures are hilarious. Others annoy me and I hope to see them get their due in time.
I think the author's strongest point is exactly the way she puts everything in her book, and even little scenes from characters we met in the first book, like Erica's sister so we can know what's happening to them. It gives a more compact feeling to the story.
I'll keep reading her books and th next one is this month.