The Ice Beneath Her

Camilla Grebe, trans. from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel. Ballantine, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-425-28432-2
The decapitation of a young woman propels Grebe’s exceptional solo debut, which examines three lives broken by failures to take responsibility in a Stockholm where “even the sky is crying.” Peter Lindgren, the detective investigating the crime, is afraid of commitment and still hasn’t accepted the teenage son he never wanted; shop assistant Emma Bohman, whose now-missing wealthy lover appears to be the prime suspect in the murder, dwells on her painful dysfunctional childhood; and profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön, who’s trapped in a suffocating marriage, faces early-onset Alzheimer’s while helping the police with the case. The present-day crime resembles a 10-year-old cold case during which Peter and Hanne shared a short, tragic relationship. In alternating chapters, the three central figures regret what could have been, grieve for what’s been lost, and lament what seemingly can never be, until their bone-rattling self-revelations are redeemed at last by human love. Grebe has collaborated with her sister, Åsa Träff, on the crime series featuring psychologist Siri Bergman (More Bitter than Death, etc.). Agents: Astri Von Arbin Ahlander and Christine Edhäll, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2016
Release date: 12/27/2016
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 978-0-425-28433-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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