The Preacher, by Camilla Lackberg

The Preacher is the second book by Camilla Lackberg that is translated into English. The first was The Ice Princess, a marvelous debut book and an exciting read.

The Preacher starts out very violently, with a little boy finding a naked woman staring at him in a ravine in the small Swedish town of Fjällbacka. Beneath the body, two skeletons of young women who had disappeared more than 2 decades earlier are visible. It turns out that all three had been tortured in similar ways before dying of strangulation. Thus everything points to the same killer.

This happens during the warm summer months in the little city of  Fjällbacka, with the city full of tourists. Detective Patrik Hedström of the local police heads the investigation. The evidence seems to point in the direction of a preacher, Ephraim Hult, who was also under investigation when two young women disappeared a quarter of a century earlier. And it soon turns out the Hult has lots of skeletons in his closets.

At the same time his heavily pregnant girlfriend Erica deals with invasions of visitors seeking to stay in their house, but still manages to help her husband with the investigation. Together the gradually uncover the truth hidden beneath layers of lies.

The Preacher is excellently written by Camilla Lackberg and well translated. As well, it is beautifully plotted and has well developed characters. I read this book much faster than I should have, as I just wanted to get to the end. And a great end it was! A wonderful read and a great follow up to The Ice Princess.

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