For February and my 12 in 12 Challenge I decided to read 12 books in the month from different countries around the world. All these books should come from my physical to-be-read pile although some Kindle books might creep in. I have now read a few of these but I think that the aim to read 12 books may be harder to achieve in February because some of the books are longer and more complex to read than the crime books which I read in January. I shall start to blog about them over the next few days.
By coincidence, my first book for February is a crime novel and could just as easily been part of January’s challenge. It is The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg which is a Swedish book translated into English by Steven T Murray. This is actually the first in a series of crime novels set in a small Swedish town. The main characters are a writer and a police officer. The writer discovers the body and the police officer solves the crime. They work together during the investigation and become a couple in future novels.
Quite a lot of crime fiction is Scandinavian and at least one more book that I have put aside for February also meets this description. I have read quite a lot of it and have noted that, although there are some differences in names, the culture and environment which the author describes is not significantly different from that of the UK, where I live, or what I am used to in books. I think that the only significantly alien moment I found in this book was when the first body is found completely frozen in a bath – even if you didn’t have the central heating on in this country I doubt that it would be possible to achieve this.
The book is a well-paced crime novel which isn’t too gory and is enjoyable to read. I have read at least one other in this series but I wouldn’t seek them out or buy them new, although if I saw one going cheaply I would purchase it (which is, I think where I got this one). I would read them as crime fiction though, which is what the author intended, rather than a book which would tell me a lot about Sweden and its culture.