Feb 24, 2013

Books: A Cold and Lonely Place; and The Stonecutter

A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry and The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg were two of my three dark mystery reads this past week, fitting reads for a cold though not lonely winter.

A Cold and Lonely Place
A Cold and Lonely Place is set in a small town in the Adirondack Mountains, upper New York State. It is cold in the winter and a lonely place for Tobin, an outsider who has made his home in this out of the way place, know for winter sports and its annual Winter Festival.

A freelance newspaper reporter, Troy Chance, is on scene at Saranac Lake to cover the ice cutting for an ice palace to be built for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. Works stops when a body is found in the frozen lake, encased in ice. Everyone recognizes it as Tobin, the popular outsider. Troy works with Tobin's sister Win, who comes into town to find out the whys and hows of Tobin's death. Through her research and interviews for a series of stories for the local paper, Troy takes risks several times to find out more about Tobin's background, the death by drowning of his older brother Trey, and his life before and after he arrives in the Adirondacks. This extensive research helps solve the sad mystery of the young man's death.

I thought this mystery was about the tragic results in a family with "toxic" parents who ignored and actively worked against the best interests of their children. It was easy to like Troy, the young reporter turned sleuth, and I hope to read more about her in the next books in the Troy Chance series.

I won a copy of this book from the author.

The Stonecutter: A Novel
The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg is set in the remote fishing village of Fjallbacka, Sweden, a psychological mystery involving a young girl found in the sea, presumably drowned, and whose death is the result of family dynamics that go way back in the past. Re the flashbacks to the past, I couldn't see right away how they tied to the story of the present. Too much of the book had two different story lines that took too long to connect. Otherwise, great plots!

I like to think of an alternate title for the book - The Stonecutter's Daughter, though it's a mystery and not an historical novel!

Publisher's description: The remote resort town of Fjallbacka has seen its share of tragedy, though perhaps none worse than that of the little girl found in a fisherman’s net. But this was no accidental drowning . . .Local detective Patrik Hedstrom has just become a father. It’s his grim task to discover who could be behind the murder of a child both he and his partner Erica knew well. What he does not know is how this case will reach into the dark heart of Fjallbacka, spanning generations, ripping aside its idyllic fa├žade, perhaps forever.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Last week, I posted a review of another psychological suspense novel, The Burning Air by Erin Kelly, a book about how a mother's obsession adversely influenced her child.

What have you been reading this winter? I am keeping my cozies for spring!


Karen Russell said...

Ha! I've been in the same mood, reading lots of dark and often Scandinavian crime fiction (even though it's going to be sunny at 60 F where I live today). I liked The Stonecutter but haven't read the Sara Henry yet.

Mason Canyon said...

These novels do sound intriguing and a good fit for this time of year. I've been listening to Victorian romances lately. I'm just getting back into thrillers this week with Shiver.

Thoughts in Progress

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Psychological suspense is what I love...in between reading lighter fare.

I don't like horror or too much gore, although I've been known to read both.

I think I'd like your picks today.


dollycas aka Lori said...

Both these look extraordinary. Adding to my wish list.

Brian Joseph said...

Both sound good. A Cold and Lonely Place sounds really good. Aside from the fact that I like tales set in wintery places, I really enjoy it when writers delve into families and childhood as influencers of behavior. Really bad parents can have such terrible consequences.

Bryan G. Robinson said...

I've wanted to read Camilla Lackberg, but haven't gotten to her yet. I think she has a series too...but I can't remember the name of it.

As for the other one, it looks good too. I live in Pennsylvania and am somewhat familiar with the Adirondacks. Sounds good to me.

Gigi Ann said...

The first one sounds the most interesting to me, although I don't read many deep dark books. This week I've been reading historical books. I'm finding them quite interesting. In between, when I need a break from all the history, I am reading Howie Mandel's memoir "Don't Touch Me!" I need a bit of humor in my life sometimes too.

Thanks for the visit today.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I want to read both of these. I love the sound of them, and winter does seem like the perfect time for them.

I'm kinda weird about seasonal reads. Beach stories only in summer etc:)

Have a great week.

Michelle Santiago said...

awesome looking books :) enjoy! thanks for stopping by our StS.


Suko said...

These do sound like dark mysteries, a perfect finale for the winter. Great concise reviews today.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed meeting Sara Henry at Bouchercon last October. Still haven't read her first book - even though I have it sitting on my shelf! I need a reading clone :)

Tea said...

Whoops, so sorry for making that mistake.

Carol said...

I tried listening to The Stonecutter and had to give up. I just didn't care and all the characters started annoying me.

A September to Remember by Carole: Review, Giveaway, and Guest Post:

  Premier Virtual Author Book Tours  presents  A September To Remember  by Carole Bumpus  2021 A September to Remember: Searching for  Culin...