Erica Falck returns to her hometown of Fjallbacka, Sweden after the funeral of her parents, and instead of finding the peace and quiet she craves, she finds a community full of secrets. The secret lives are as hidden as the omnipresent ice hides reality from the casual observer.
Her best friend from childhood, Alex, has returned to the home she grew up in, but her return is not a happy one. Erica becomes somewhat obsessed with Alex’s fate, and teams up with a local detective, Patrik Hedstrom who is also investigating the case.
The Swedish winter plays as much of a character in this mystery as do the warm bodies, and the opening scene is a real grabber. If you are a fan of Steig Larsson or Henning Mankel, this is very much in the same vein, and the author is considered a phenomenon in her native Sweden. The translator, Steven T. Murray, did the translation for the Millennium series, and he is adept at capturing the icy and impenetrable atmosphere of the small town, and the people who reside there.