The Stonecutter by Camilla Läckberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I forget who said that if you're on vacation and Jessica Fletcher appears, run. Or Miss Marple, right? Seems to me they're not the problem, smallish tourist towns are the problem! Fjällbacka is one of those small towns, ridden with people with Deep Dark Secrets.
The initial event is the discovery of the body of Sara, a young girl. Originally assumed drowned, it turns out she was - just not in the ocean where she was found, but in a bathtub. And there were ashes in her esophagus. Was it someone in her family (always the initial suspects) or her grandmother's archenemy/next-door-neighbor Kaj? Perhaps it was Kaj's son Morgan, who suffers from Aspergers. Or someone else? Intercut with the investigation are three other stories: one, from the 1920s, of Agnes, the beautiful, impetuous rich daughter who is disowned by her father when she becomes pregnant by the titular character; two, the discovery of a son, and attempted bonding efforts with said son, by inept Superintendent Mellman; and three, the ongoing saga of Sara and Lucas' marriage. Of the three, the middle is the least important and the least related to anything in the larger story. As for our detective, he's dealing with his newborn baby and Erica's exhaustion in dealing with Maja's feeding and sleeping needs, not to mention the beyond inept efforts of Ernst Lundgren (which might, finally, get him off the force).
These aren't as dark and violent as, say, The Millennium Trilogy or Jo Nesbo's works, but they're plenty dark. Something about the Swedes...
ARC provided by publisher.