The Drowning

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The Drowning

If you love mystery thriller novels, and if the the ominous title and eerie cover art doesn't catch your attention, then knowing the book is written by acclaimed author Camilla Lackberg, a worldwide bestseller, will certainly catch your interest.

The atmosphere is thick and heavy all throughout the story which centers on Christian Thydell, who has achieved sudden fame with the success of his stunning debut novel “The Mermaid”.

Living in the small town of Fjallbacka, Christian is friends with several locals, including a trio of mates – Erik, Kenneth, and Magnus. However, Magnus has disappeared and is believed dead, forcing Christian, Erik, and Kenneth to disclose the fact they have all been receiving threatening letters for some time now. Is Magnus' death connected? Could one of them be next?

Enter Patrik, a detective, and his wife Erica, who tends to insert herself into his cases. Since Erica has a professional relationship with Christian, she is especially upset by recent events and feels as though she could help her husband get to the bottom of things.

On a personal note, Patrik and Erica are expecting twins, and Patrik has been feeling quite unwell with a malady he battles all throughout the book.

The murkiness surrounding the mystery kept me from guessing who the killer was. Every time I thought I had it figured out, there was a piece of the puzzle that didn't quite fit. So, I kept turning pages genuinely baffled, but with an ever increasing feeling of foreboding, not only with the case, but with the detective whose health seems to be in serious danger.

But, to my vast disappointment, the atmospheric fog hanging over the story burned off ,exposing one of the oldest psychological twists in the book, one so overused and dated, it lost its shock value decades ago.

It's always frustrating to get to the end of a fairly long novel only to feel misled and cheated. Not only that, while the case is resolved, there was a huge twist at the very end which put the cherry on the cake of my irritation, because it's an all-out cliffhanger. Since this book is not slated for release until September of 2015, we could have a fairly long wait before we find out what the fallout will be. UGH!

So, while overall the author does an outstanding job of creating a sense of doom, of building suspense, with great characterization, and the story has everything going for it, ultimately, it turned into a formulaic sellout. This might not bother the casual reader, but heavy readers of mystery suspense may be a little disappointed.

Book Blurb for The Drowning

From worldwide bestseller Camilla Läckberg: a new novel from a reclusive Fjallbacka resident has enraptured the community?but what secrets and tragedies are lurking behind the pages and threatening to come to life?

Christian Thydell’s dream has come true. His debut novel, The Mermaid, has been published to rave reviews. So why is he as distant and unhappy as ever?

When crime writer Erica Falk, who helped Christian discover and develop his talents, learns he has been receiving anonymous threats, she investigates not just to eh messages but also the young author mysterious past. Then, one of Christian’s closet friends, Magnus, goes missing.

Erica’s husband, Detective Patrik Hedström, has his worst suspicions confirmed as the mind-games aimed at Christian become a disturbing reality. Christian's group of friends?a “gang of four” from childhood?is a tangled web of relationships, love triangles, and family secrets that Erica and Patrick must unravel in order to discover what really happened to Magnus and who is still threatening Christian.

But, with the victims themselves concealing evidence, the investigation is going nowhere. Is their silence driven by fear or guilt? What is the secret they would rather die to protect than live to see revealed?

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2015 3.00