cover image The Stranger

The Stranger

Camilla Läckberg, trans. from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-60598-425-4

In Swedish author Läckberg’s engaging, if subpar, fourth crime thriller set in Fjällbacka (after 2012’s The Stonecutter), Det. Patrik Hedström investigates a local woman’s death in what appears to be a D.W.I. accident. Some things don’t add up, like the off-the-charts alcohol level for a victim, who everyone says never drank. Meanwhile, the battered corpse of one of the cast members of a reality TV show filming in Fjällbacka surfaces inside a garbage truck. Läckberg skillfully handles the ensuing probe—which will stretch over half of Sweden and into crimes dating back decades, including the abduction of a young brother and sister from Fjällbacka—as well as the domestic dramas dominating the life of writer and new mom Erica Falck, who is soon to wed Patrik. Less successful are the florid chapter-opening flashbacks and the puzzle’s farfetched solution. Hints of the next installment’s plot promise a return to form. Agent: Joakim Hansson, Nordin Literary Agency (Sweden). (May)