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The Ice Princess is my kind of junk food read. It involves murder and crime solving. It's not incredibly taxing. You know (although it's Nordic so god knows really) the good guys will (might) win by the end of the book. You can just tune out and get taken for the ride.
The benefit to this book is again the setting. It's set in a Swedish seaside village in winter, so it's pretty empty, almost deserted, except for the locals. And cold (I believe -15 was mentioned in the middle of the day!?! My Aussie body can not begin to comprehend that) and dark and ominous. People were fishing in that. Maddness! I just wanted to wrap myself up in a blanket while reading, and that included the time while I was sitting in the 22 degree sun in the garden, and really what else do you want for a murder mystery? The sense of setting and place were fantastic.
But that's kinda where the fantastic ended. The rest was okay. The writing was okay, with some bits mentioned above that just annoyed the hell out of you. I was wondering if that was the translation, but guessing from my convo with my favourite Swede the other day, the writing sounds like it was worse in the original.
Then, oh my god, the weight issues and body image in this book. The main character, who by the way, is not at all the main character you expect when you pick up the first book in the Patrik Hedström books. Patrik is introduced but our main character is Erica. Erica tells you how many weight watchers points are in every meal for the first half of the book. Erica freaks out that on the morning of a date with Patrik, a bit after her parents have died suddenly so she's had a few other things on her mind, that she as a tall, curvy Swedish woman has hit 150 pounds (68kgs) and debates calling the whole thing off. Now, I do not know her body shape or whatever of course, but to me, that sounds completely normal for what I have in my head from the descriptions. She sounds like a brainwashed moron. After the particularly bad scene she never mentions it again, which while welcome, seems in some ways like the author forgot about a part of her personality.
It was vaguely predictable. I was thinking, what it needs now, is one more murder, and blah would be a good choice. I turned the page, and blah was murdered. But I didn't pick the killer. And I don't know why. Was it because I was ill when I read the last 40pp or was it just a good twist? Unsure at this point of time.
Look, if you like murders and crime, and you want a pretty straight forward book with a great setting and a cheesy romance, pick it up. I'm umming and ahhing between 3-3.5 stars and I'm heading for the latter as it's exactly what I needed at this point in time. Apparently the series gets a lot better. It's her first book, so not entirely surprised. The promise of that has me heading towards the carrot I must say, because if she gets her shit together she could be fantastic.