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I like the image of lifting a rock and describing what is underneath. I'm one of those who is less interested in the puzzle aspect of crime, I like the social and psychological descriptions, the characters, their relationships. I would probably like this one and she sure does sound like a promising new voice.


I also love that image of lifting the rock and seeing what's underneath. I think that's the bit I like best about crime fiction, when you start to get into the context for the crime and learn about the people close to it. But I do like the puzzle too - hence my Agatha Christie fetish!

Joan Kyler

I like the social and psychological aspects of crime fiction. I also like the details that flesh out the characters: what they eat, how they dress, what they do in their spare time, their relationships. What I do not like is when there is no clear resolution to the story. I just finished a Norwegian crime novel which dropped an interesting and potentially incendiary side story and which left me hanging because there was still doubt at the very end whether or not the arrested man was the murderer. I closed this book feeling unsatisfied. I know life can be like this, but I don't want my books to mirror life, especially crime / mystery books. I want to believe that somewhere, even if only in a fictional world, there is justice.


Add me to the list of people who liked the "under the rock" analogy. I've come to conclusion that while I love the puzzle, I primarily read for characters and their lives - what's going on, why they react the way they do, why is the crime committed, etc. It's why I love a series. We get to see the story go and the characters live their lives and grow and change. This book sounds like something I'd enjoy. I've put it on my wishlist at Book Depository, but since I just ordered from there, I'll wait a bit.


How fun to have found a new and promising author!


This is a lovely post, and thought-provoking. I appreciate your book review, but even more so, you've got me thinking about the different styles of murder-mystery. This may turn into a whole post of my own... thanks. :)


Very nice review, and the "under the rock" analogy is certainly apt in this case. I agree that the book is by no means perfect but it is very mature for a debut novel, I think - she's a talented author and I think will get even better (eg on plotting). I, too, like the interplay between the detectives, quite a strong feature of Swedish (and some other Scandinavian) crime fiction post Sjowall-Wahloo (who surely influenced Camilla Ceder along with many other modern authors).
Thanks very much, by the way, for your generous mention and link to my review.


Caroline--I like a traditional mystery, but I also like books like this that are more psychological and character-driven, too. If the mystery aspect in a novel is weak I can overlook it very easily if there is more to the story!
Litlove--I was just thinking that I need to pick up an Agatha Christie book soon--I've been watching movie dramatizations of her short stories, which I've been enjoying. I do like this sort of crime story, too, though, that is almost less about clues than it is about the various characters and how they relate to each other. The nice thing about mysteries is the broadness of the genre.
Joan--I like all the little details, too. That is partly why I love reading so much is getting a different view of the world--or a broader view anyway. I'm really curious which book you've just read. I don't mind endings that aren't always neat, but some sort of resolution is nice--even if it's left up to the reader to imagine. I've read that people like crime novels for just that fact--to know things are going to be all right--the murder will be solved and the world righted! Leaving things open ended does throw a reader off.
Kay--I have a number of favorite series that I follow almost more for the characters--to see how they are growing and developing than for the mystery part of it all. I think the mass market paperback is due out sometime in the near future, so the price will also be going down, too, if you wait a little longer! :)
Stefanie--It's always good to have reliable authors to turn to!
Julia--I look forward to reading what you have to say about mysteries. They are so varied and do different sorts of things. I loved that Dibdin interview as he spoke about his writing style, which is always interesting.
Maxine--It really is very good, and really those were just small quibbles on my part. I'm not sure she was really trying to pull the rug out from under the reader's feet, though there were still a few surprises. I expect she'll get even better and it sounds as though her second book is very good indeed going by the review by Marlaine Delargy/ I really need to read some Sjowall-Wahloo books--I'm sure I have at least the first one and I seem to have come across others reading them lately, too. I've moved on to Liza Marklund next, who I think I might like even a tad bit better, though I will certainly be following Camilla Ceder, too.


The recent Mercy (to be released soon in the US under the title Keeper of Lost Causes) by Jussi Adler-Olssen (Denmark) is a very good example of police procedural - interplay between characters in various life-situations, a good investigative mystery, and funny in a dry way. I loved it. It isn't long, either.

Joan Kyler

The book I just finished that left me feeling unsatisfied is The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum. The other thing I didn't like about it is that the reader gets to know the murder victim, so there is more pathos involved than I like. It was almost overwhelmingly sad at certain points, at least for me. I'm one of those 'hyper-sensitive' people, as my niece says, so I prefer to keep a bit of distance so my heart isn't always breaking.


Maxine--I have a review copy of Mercy/The Keeper of Lost Causes on my Nook, which lately I've not been using much. I almost always end up picking up a paper book over reading my Nook as I prefer paper books (though reading on an ereader isn't as bad as I first imagined it). I had started it and was interested....I just need to get back to it as I keep hearing great things about it. It's interesting there are so many subcategories in crime fiction--cozies, police procedurals, suspense, thrillers--it's hard to differentiate since they are so close, but I do love good detective stories, too. I need to pick up my Nook again!
Joan--Interesting--I had heard that that was one of Karin Fossum's best novels. I have yet to read her but I do want to at some point. Often there is little known about the victim except after the fact, so the reader can distance themselves from the person. But when an author really gets into their story you begin to empathize, so you're right when something bad happens it can be a little crushing. Much easier when the victim was a nasty person! :)

kathy d.

I am looking forward to reading Frozen Moment, and since it was brought up, Mercy.
I read The Indian Bride and was also left feeling unsatisfied, like eating salad without a main course.


Kathy--I also want to read Mercy. I have it on my Nook, but I am trying to finish another mystery on it first. Interesting about The Indian Bride--I have not yet read Karin Fossum, but I'd like to at some point. Maybe I won't start with that particular book, however.

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