cover image The Stonecutter

The Stonecutter

Camilla Läckberg, trans. from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-60598-330-1

Läckberg’s excellent third novel set in the west coast village of Fjällbacka, like its predecessors The Ice Princess and The Preacher, strips conventional veneers from her achingly complex characters. Alternating parallel narratives embroil readers first in the present-day murder by drowning of little Sara Klinga, then in the rise and fall many decades earlier of Agnes Stjernkvist, a venomous schemer who lusts after honest stonecutter Anders Andersson. Investigating Sara’s death is series lead Det. Patrik Hedström, now an exhausted new father, whose partner, Erica, is suffering through a desperate postpartum depression. Läckberg gradually tightens the disparate narrative strands noose-like around her numerous remorselessly dissected characters, her signature reversal revealing shocking and poignant truths about the residents of Fjällbacka, where she herself was born. With at least nine more novels waiting for English translation and the Swedish TV series Fjällbacka Murders in the works, Läckberg has rapidly become one of the most profitable native authors in Sweden’s history. Agent: Joakim Hansson, Nordin Literary Agency. (May)