Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Läckberg

Hello readers,

its been a while. So much to my goal of getting back to a regular blog schedule. Life is hectic, but on a happy note I manage to read. I am not in a slump. And I got a couple of exciting things coming up in March.
So I actually planned a post about my most anticipated releases at the beginning of the year but never really got to it because that list didn`t include more than two books at that time. One of the reasons for that is, that I want to read all the unread books on my shelf and continue on series I have already started.
So that being said - one of my most anticipated releases was The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Läckberg, which comes out in english this month (I think in the next couple of days) but lucky me it was released a month earlier in german, so I read that version.

In The Girl in the Woods we follow again Patrick Hedström and his wife Erika Falck, who is an author who writes true crime novels.
Erika Falk is currently working on her novel regarding a 30 (or 20) year old case of a murdered girl in the woods of Fjällbacka when another girl goes missing and is later found dead at the exact same spot.
For the old case two young girls had testified that they killed the girl but then later on taken back their testimony. What an odd conincidence is it that one of these girls (now a famous actress) comes back to Fjällbacka and another girl wents missing?
Are the cases connected?
And what has the local refugee hostel to do with all that?
On a third story line we have an old case of a witch hunt.

For me this novel is difficult to describe. I had really high expectations, that for the writing were met as usual. I still like seeing all the different perspectives and that his is a more character driven crime novel and not just working a case.
But besides the writing I was really disappointed this time.
It was by all means an enjoyable read, but it really made me think if maybe this series should come to an end. Is there more Camilla Läckberg can do?
I don`t know.
I liked the aspect that she took up the problematic topic of xenophobia and I really liked the way she did it and to portrait it through different perspectives.
But I just felt this book had many elements to just make it longer. I absolutely couldn`t see the purpose of the witch-hunt storyline, I wouldn`t have needed that and I really felt it didn`t fit.
I really felt Camilla Läckberg went totally overboard with how many points of social criticism one book can take. Trigger warning here, there is a possible rape. Not going to say much more too that, with the witch-hunt and that part of the storyline (don`t want to spoil anything), I just didn`t like it. I felt there would have been so many other ways this part could have been executed.
And then I felt this book was very predictable at some point. You could easily figure out what was going to happen.
It didn`t make it less enjoyable, but for me the reason to keep reading on wasn`t because I really wanted to know what happened, but more because I wanted to see if my feeling was right.
As for the character developement and the personal storyline in these novels, I still love them and feel so much connected with them. In the end that was the part, that saved the book for me.

All in all by far the worst book in this series. It just felt like a storyline that could have been amazing was dragged out long by all means.
I gave it 3 out of 5 stars, which really breaks my heart because Camilla Läckberg never disappointed me so far. I will see what comes next.

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