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The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe
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The Ice Beneath Her

by Camilla Grebe

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''It feels as if I'm falling into a deep black hole again. And outside, the rain keeps falling over Stockholm. Even the sky is crying.''

I've been eagerly waiting to read this debut novel by Camilla Grebe, and I can say that, as an avid reader of Nordic thrillers, I was not disappointed.

There are many distinct characteristics of the genre in this book. The different POVs, the bleak atmosphere, the dark, psychotic plot, all those elements that have brought the Scandi-Nordic thriller at the top of the literary world. Here, we have three narrators, Peter, Emma and Hanne. Peter is the police officer that takes over the case of a particularly gruesome murder, Hanne is a woman that aids the police with the profile of the murderer and the particulars of the crime (think ''Criminal Minds'') and Emma is a young woman with a troubled past and even worse present.

It is extremely difficult to write a review without spoilers, so I will not delve further into the plot. I will tell you, however, that the main emotion that this book gave me was anger. So much anger...Anger because Emma had to put up with so much shit from the very early stages of her life. Anger because there are- and will always be- bastards that take advantage of those who are carried away by their emotions, in spite of all the little voices that act as a warning.

Another thing that I really liked was the realistic plot. While in the majority of, say Lackberg's novels for example, the story is a bit too neat and the events a little too convenient, here the pieces of the puzzle fall into place in a better pace, in my opinion. I loved the fact that Grebe turns the beautiful city of Stockholm into a major character, bringing forth the dark, urban side of it. This adds dimension to the story, and enriches the atmosphere. The rainy autumn afternoons are certain to win you over.

The three characters that allow us into their lives and thoughts are interesting and well-written. Peter is interesting in the sense that he doesn't represent the typical, problematic police officer who's always fighting his demons.He seemed absolutely fine to me. Emma is the heart of the story,and Hanne is the figure of the tranquil power. Jesper is better left without comments and Emma's mother wins the trophy for best mum in Scandinavia...Except NOT! What I have to admit, though, is that I had no interest in the romance between Peter and Hanne. It was cliché and boring.

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe is one more example of the mystery genre done right, and another addition to the never-ending list of fascinating Scandinavian thrillers. Keep them coming, Northern lands!




( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
I realized about a third of the way into the book that I had read it when it first came out...of course I had forgotten some of it...so I continued to read and I'm glad I did. It's a compelling storyline even though I sometimes found it frustrating that it constantly jumped back and forth in time with each character's perspective of the murder. Some would describe it as "chick lit" pretending to be a police procedural but it had enough twists and turns to make it interesting. ( )
  Carol420 | Feb 13, 2018 |
I like Camilla Grebe's writing. She excels in the area of character development of her troubled characters in this complex psychological thriller. This is a character driven novel and each chapter is written with a character's different point of view. The storyline centers around 2 different murders which are very similar and happen 10 years apart. There are lots of dark and surprising twists and turns which kept the pages turning until the last page. I have read one other book written by Camilla and her sister and really enjoyed that one too. I have another of their books on my shelf and look forward to reading that one. If you like psychological thrillers, then read this one. It does start slowly, so you need to hang in there but when it gets going, you won't be able to put the book down. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 20, 2018 |
The Ice Beneath Her. Camilla Grebe. 2016. This Swedish Noir is not as good as the books by Stieg Larsson and Camilla Lackberg, but it is certainly a page-turner! A women if found murdered and decapitated in the home of a prominent businessman, Jasper Orre, who is now missing. The novel is narrated by Peter, a police investigator; Emma, who may be the beheaded victim, and Hanne, a psychologist, who was literally left holding a suitcase and without an explanation by Peter who was to marry her. At one point in time all of these characters are suspects, and the suspense lasts up until the last few chapters! This was a good book, not great but good. Violence galore and a few semi graphic sex scenes. ( )
  judithrs | Aug 27, 2017 |
A story that kept me reading and an ending that I did not see coming! ( )
  bogopea | Aug 27, 2017 |
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Epigraph
"You never know friend from foe, till the ice beneath gives way." -Inuit proverb
Dedication
For Estelle and Fredrik
First words
I'm standing in the snow by my mother's headstone when I get the call.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
For fans of Jo Nesbo and The Bridge, The Ice Beneath Her is a gripping and deeply disturbing story about love, betrayal and obsession that is impossible to put down. Fast-paced and peopled with compelling characters, it surprises at every turn as it hurtles towards an unforgettable ending with a twist you really won't see coming . . .

A young woman is found beheaded in an infamous business tycoon's marble-lined hallway.

The businessman, scandal-ridden CEO of the retail chain Clothes & More, is missing without a trace.

But who is the dead woman? And who is the brutal killer who wielded the machete?

Rewind two months earlier to meet Emma Bohman, a sales assistant for Clothes & More, whose life is turned upside down by a chance encounter with Jesper Orre. Insisting that their love affair is kept secret, he shakes Emma's world a second time when he suddenly leaves her with no explanation.

As frightening things begin to happen to Emma, she suspects Jesper is responsible. But why does he want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover?
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As winter's chill descends on Stockholm, homicide detectives Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson arrive at a crime scene, a posh suburban home where an unidentified woman was beheaded--a murder made more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. As the detectives search for motives and the homeowner, CEO Jesper Orre, they enlist the help of retired criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Sch?on. But they aren't the only ones searching. A young clerk from Orre's company, Emma Bohman, had an affair with Orre right before he disappeared. One staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that Orre was to blame. Pursuing the same 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. --… (more)

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