Review: The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg

The Preacher

I pick my audiobooks by what’s available through my library and as I was browsing the website one day I came across The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg. I vaguely remembered reading the first in the series, The Ice Princess, and not hating it, so I went ahead and decided to listen to this one.

The story is once again set in a small fishing town in Sweden, Fjällbacka, and the two main characters are back. Patrik Hedström, the local police detective, is more the focus this time around. His girlfriend, Ericka Falck, who was a major actor in the first in the series, is now pregnant and very much stuck at home on the sidelines, feeling miserable and entertaining horrible houseguests. Actually, the whole home part of the story rather annoyed me this time around. I don’t think I was in love with them as a couple in the last one, either, and it’s even worse here, since Ericka doesn’t get to share much of the spotlight.

The mystery aspect of the book, however, certainly grabbed my attention. Twenty years ago two young women disappeared. They were never found, but foul play was always suspected. Now their remains have been found with those of a new victim, a young camper from Germany. Patrik is leading the investigation. When a second young girl goes missing, Hedström’s attention focuses on the Hults, a feuding clan of misfits, religious fanatics and criminals. The Hults are like a soap opera family – money, secrets, affairs, and every clue points back to them. It’s a twisty, turny story. You don’t know who’s telling the truth, who knows more than they’re telling, and Patrick just keeps relentlessly digging, hoping against hope to find the missing girl before she too ends up dead.

The other characters aren’t as well-filled out as Patrick and Ericka. Patrick’s boss is dealing with his own issues and leave Patrick pretty much alone, aside from handling the media and calls from locals worried about the potential loss of tourist dollars. The other officers each have their own rather one-dimensional personality, but they filled the roles they needed to.

I listened to the audio version of this, and I have to admit that I liked hearing the Swedish names and places. They’re not pronounced the way they sounded in my head, even Patrick’s name sounded different, more Swedish than it was when I read it, if that makes sense. I actually found myself repeating some of the words, just because I like the way they sound.

Will I read the next in the series? Yes, I actually already have a hold on the audio version through the library. My hope, though, is that the mystery takes center stage and we don’t get too much of Patrick and Ericka as new parents.

4 out of 5 stars

Category: Mystery – Police Procedural

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Patrik Hedström #2
First published 2004
15 hours 41 minutes
Translated by Steven T. Murray
Read by David Thorn

Book source: Library

Patrik Hedström Series

  1. The Ice Princess
  2. The Preacher
  3. The Stonecutter
  4. The Gallows Bird  (APA: The Stranger)
  5. The Hidden Child
  6. The Drowning
  7. The Lighthouse
  8. The Angel Maker

This was my first read for R.I.P. VII, a reading event embracing the ghastly and ghostly, mysterious and grim. R.I.P. VII is hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

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11 Comments

  1. I’m glad to read that you enjoyed this despite some problems you had with the story. I love the idea of listening to a book like this so that you can hear the Swedish pronunciation. I know there is no way I’d get that right in my head. If it didn’t slow me down so much I would have liked listening to the Gamache series by Louise Penny on audio just to get all the French pronunciations right. As it was she has an audio guide on her site for each novel so it has been fun popping on there to see how close I am with the way I am pronouncing things in my head.

    • Actually, Penny’s Gamache series is one I just have to listen to. The first one I read in print, but the others I’ve listened to on audio and I just find them richer that way. I haven’t gotten the newest yet, though.

      • I pretty much only listen to audio when I’m driving and am just too impatient to drag these stories out that way, I’m enjoying them too much. I just started the new one last night. And of course am already enjoying it.

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