About this book…
A young woman is found beheaded in an infamous business tycoon’s marble-lined hallway.
The businessman, scandal-ridden CEO of the retail chain Clothes & More, is missing without a trace.
But who is the dead woman? And who is the brutal killer who wielded the machete?
Rewind two months earlier to meet Emma Bohman, a sales assistant for Clothes & More, whose life is turned upside down by a chance encounter with Jesper Orre. Insisting that their love affair is kept secret, he shakes Emma’s world a second time when he suddenly leaves her with no explanation.
As frightening things begin to happen to Emma, she suspects Jesper is responsible. But why does he want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover?
When I received a copy of The Ice Beneath Her in my goody bag at Theakstons Crime in Harrogate, I was really excited! The blurb on
the back made it sound right up my street, I loved the cover and then…..oh it’s “scandi crime” translated from Swedish. Now, me and Scandi crime aren’t exactly good mates. I find most books difficult to get into and rather verbose which can often be down to translation. So I’m not a huge fan and would struggle to name even one book I have enjoyed in this genre…..until now that is!! Honestly, if ever a book deserves the tagline “the most gripping thriller you’ll read this year” then The Ice Beneath Her is that book. I started it in the evening, took it to bed with me and read the whole thing in one sitting from cover to cover. Yes, it’s that unputdownable!
The three viewpoints that this story is told through really keep the reader guessing throughout. There is Peter, a commitment phobic police officer, who is brought in to solve the murder of an unknown woman in the house of well known CEO Jesper Orre. Peter’s attitude to his job is very diligent and organised but when it came to his personal life, I just wanted to shake him and tell him to get over himself!! Also brought in, due to having had experience at a similar crime scene 10 years before, is Hanne a criminal profiler. I loved Hanne and the way she handled both her early onset dementia and her much older, controlling husband. I was mentally cheering her on all the way. The fact that there was history between her and Peter added an edge to the investigation, a bit of frisson that kept coming back to haunt them both. And then there was Emma, secret fiancee of Jesper Orre telling her story in the two months leading up to the murder. I found Emma’s story to be my favourite of the three, the one I kept wanting to return to. Her narrative was incredibly dark and I found it quite disturbing the way she was being treated by her dominating and deceitful fiancee Jesper, whom I loathed from the start.
This book did the one thing I love when reading, it surprised me! Not just in the plotting of what is a brilliant twisty turny storyline but in the way the characters developed throughout. It is a character led mystery and so well done that I actually felt as though these people existed alongside me as I read. Although this had the traditional cold and unemotional feeling of a Swedish crime thriller, due to the fantastic way it was written and translated sometimes I forgot that it hadn’t been in English in the first place! I wish all Scandi crime was done as brilliantly as this! I hope that Camilla Grebe’s next book lives up to this fabulous debut.
A huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy of this highly recommended crime thriller.
The Ice Beneath Her: The most gripping psychological thriller you’ll read this year is available to buy now from Amazon UK here.
About the author and the translator…
Camilla Grebe is a graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics. She was a cofounder of Storyside, a Swedish audiobook publisher, where she was both CEO and publisher during the early 2000s. She lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
Elizabeth Clark Wessel is an editor at Argos Books and author of the chapbook Whither Weather. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a translator.