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Monday, December 05, 2016

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe begins with the  horrific murder of an unidentified woman.  The macabre tale is told from three different points of view:  Peter, a detective; Hanne, a profiler who has done no police work in years; and Emma, a young woman who has been associated with the man suspected of the murder.

All of the main characters have issues that keep the reader alternating between sympathy and frustration, but it is easy to get caught up in their stories. 

The atmosphere throughout is creepy; and there is a question of the reliability of the narrators--creating that uneasy gut feeling of uncertainty.  All of the characters seem to have relinquished making decisions in their lives, choosing  a kind of passive aggressive acceptance of  events as they come.  

Hanne has, in the past, made one attempt to free herself, but when that fell through, she reverted to her previous passivity.  Despite the circumstances stacked against her, Hanne does again try for something better when she returns to her role with the police against her husband's wishes.

The weakest element is the too typical use of a bizarre murder to get the reader's attention. The murder does not require the shocking method to retain the symbolic concept the author intends, and strangely, the sensational aspect of the murder lessens as the plot proceeds.

Nevertheless, this is one of those psychological thrillers that will keep you riveted as you puzzle out the pieces of this enigmatic crime novel. 

Read in Aug.; blog review scheduled for Dec. 5, 2016.

NetGalley/Random House

Psychological/Scandinavian Crime.  Dec. 27, 2016.  Print length:  368 pages.


  1. I find passive characters a little frustrating, but this book sounds good. And I really like Scandanavian psychological thrillers. I'm adding it to my list. :)

  2. I almost started reading this one last weekend but ended up going with a fiction novel instead. "Shocking" murders are sort of a pet peeve of mine. Like you said, sometimes they just detract from the story and seem unnecessary. Glad to hear this was a good one though and definitely plan to read it!

    1. I guess it falls into the Scandinavian Noir category as well as psychological suspense. Hard to like the characters, but the psychological aspects of the characters and the puzzle factor make this an engrossing read.

  3. I like the different POVs in a story though I know not all of them work. This sounds like an intriguing read; with the complex characters and that creepy atmosphere. I'll keep this book in mind. :)