Review: The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

5stars

  • Takeaway: Tense, twisty and tautly written, this psychological thriller is impressive and addictive.
  • Book Type: Psychological Thriller/ Swedish Crime Fiction
  • Buy Now: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble

My Review

The Ice Beneath Her hooked me from the very beginning. Grebe’s writing with its lyrical touches creates a tense and unnerving atmosphere in this multi-layered murder mystery. The story opens with a grizzly murder—a woman is found in a pool of blood, beheaded in the Stockholm home of a wealthy businessman known for his womanizing ways and irrascible temper. Detectives aren’t able to identify the woman, and the man, Jesper Orre, is missing. From there, the story unravels through several perspectives—the detectives who struggle to find clues, as well as a woman jilted by Jesper.

But nothing is as it first seems as past and present, truth and lies blur together artfully. We get to know Peter Lindgren and Hanne Lagerlind-Schön, the detective and criminal profiler with a complicated history. And Emma Bohman, who fell in love with Jesper only to be left behind the night of their engagement dinner.

As Emma tries to figure out why Jesper left her, her situation spirals out of control, especially after she discovers the truth of Jesper’s deceit. Worse yet, Jesper seems to be out to get her.

Grebe’s impressive character development makes the story feel weighty and real. The angst, the nuances, the pacing—it all tangles together beautifully in a way that makes this book impossible to put down. I loved it—fans of The Girl on the Train and crime fiction alike, will love this twisty Scandinavian thriller too.

Synopsis

Dec-27 ★

Acclaimed Swedish author Camilla Grebe makes her solo American debut with a psychological thriller as cunning in its twists as it is captivating in its storytelling—for fans of the celebrated crime fiction of Camilla Läckberg, Jo Nesbø, Ruth Ware, and Fiona Barton.

Winter’s chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home—a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there’s a suspect: the charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.

To homicide detectives Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson, nothing about the suave, high-profile businessman—including a playboy reputation and rumors of financial misdeeds—suggests he conceals the dark heart and twisted mind of a cold-blooded killer. In search of a motive, Lindgren and Olsson turn to the brilliant criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön. Once a valued police asset, now marooned in unhappy retirement and a crumbling marriage, she’s eager to exercise her keen skills again—and offer the detectives a window into the secret soul of Jesper Orre.

But they’re not the only ones searching. Two months before, Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre’s company, chanced to meet the charming chief executive, and romance swiftly bloomed. Almost as quickly as the passionate affair ignited, it was over when Orre inexplicably disappeared. One staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that her runaway lover was to blame and transforming her confusion and heartbreak into anger.

Now, pursuing the same mysterious man for different reasons, Emma and the police are destined to cross paths in a chilling dance of obsession, vengeance, madness, and love gone hellishly wrong.

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

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Comments

  1. I’m super excited I was approved for this one on Netgalley. It sounds so good!! Awesome review – glad to see you liked it!

  2. Good review! I could tell why you really enjoyed this one. I’m putting it on my list!

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