Thursday, 12 March 2009
The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg
CRIME passes down through families. A couple of youngsters turn up in court, then a few years later it’s their children.
By the time the prosecuting gardai are old and grizzled, it’s their grandchildren.
Swedish thriller writer Camilla Lackberg’s new murder feast is about a family steeped in crime.
The grandfather, Ephraim, was a simple con man. Posing as a preacher he brought his two beautiful little boys around to cure the sick.
But the ‘sick’ were people he’d bribed to pose as terminally ill patients so they could be miraculously healed.
The criminal family is so complicated that we could have done with a family tree. Two of Ephraim’s grandsons are the local burglars, and blackmail is rife within the clan.
Years after Ephraim became respectable (on inheriting money from a grateful parishioner), three bodies turn up in the village where the family lives.
One is fresh and bloody. It’s lying on the bones of two earlier murder victims - two girls who disappeared 20 years ago.
The local small-town cops start to investigate. Then another girl goes missing.
Lackberg has a sweet subplot about a shy officer finding romance. And some funny stuff about sedulously ass-kissing officers, and bone-selfish families.
Anyone who loves Scandinavian crime fiction will enjoy this laid-back thriller by the author of The Ice Princess.