THE ICE BENEATH HER BY CAMILLA GREBE
The name Camilla Grebe will be familiar to Scandinavian crime addicts, as the co-author of the Moscow Noir trilogy and the Siri Bergman thrillers. She has now branched out with her first solo project – already a smash in Sweden. It kicks off in gruesome fashion in a wintry Stockholm as the body of a decapitated woman is found at the home of Jesper Orre, controversial CEO of a clothing firm. Orre has vanished, and police have no clues as to the dead woman’s identity.
Cut back two months and Emma Bohman, a shop assistant in Orre’s clothing empire who is secretly engaged to her boss, is devastated when he suddenly disappears. As the strands of past and present knit together, three narrators tell the story: the troubled Emma, socially awkward detective Peter Lindgren, and his former lover Hanne Lager-lind-Schön, a psychologist in the early stages of dementia. All three are damaged and unhappy – and Grebe scatters delicious clues that call their reliability into question, skilfully shifting the reader’s certainties.
With the tension ratcheting up, a web of obsession, delusion and the devastating ways people can hurt those closest to them is slowly revealed. The result is a complex, macabre and utterly captivating thriller. Grebe’s first solo flight is a triumph.