The Ice Beneath Her
by Camilla Grebe and Elizabeth Clark Wessel

Overview - Acclaimed Swedish author Camilla Grebe makes her solo American debut with a psychological thriller as cunning in its twists as it is captivating in its storytelling--for fans of the celebrated crime fiction of Camilla Lackberg, Jo Nesbo, Ruth Ware, and Fiona Barton.  Read more...

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More About The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe; Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Acclaimed Swedish author Camilla Grebe makes her solo American debut with a psychological thriller as cunning in its twists as it is captivating in its storytelling--for fans of the celebrated crime fiction of Camilla Lackberg, Jo Nesbo, Ruth Ware, and Fiona Barton.

Winter's chill has descended on Stockholm as police arrive at the scene of a shocking murder. An unidentified woman lies beheaded in a posh suburban home--a brutal crime made all the more disturbing by its uncanny resemblance to an unsolved killing ten years earlier. But this time there's a suspect: the charismatic and controversial chain-store CEO Jesper Orre, who owns the home but is nowhere to be found.

To homicide detectives Peter Lindgren and Manfred Olsson, nothing about the suave, high-profile businessman--including a playboy reputation and rumors of financial misdeeds--suggests he conceals the dark heart and twisted mind of a cold-blooded killer. In search of a motive, Lindgren and Olsson turn to the brilliant criminal profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schon. Once a valued police asset, now marooned in unhappy retirement and a crumbling marriage, she's eager to exercise her keen skills again--and offer the detectives a window into the secret soul of Jesper Orre.

But they're not the only ones searching. Two months before, Emma Bohman, a young clerk at Orre's company, chanced to meet the charming chief executive, and romance swiftly bloomed. Almost as quickly as the passionate affair ignited, it was over when Orre inexplicably disappeared. One staggering misfortune after another followed, leaving Emma certain that her runaway lover was to blame and transforming her confusion and heartbreak into anger.

Now, pursuing the same mysterious man for different reasons, Emma and the police are destined to cross paths in a chilling dance of obsession, vengeance, madness, and love gone hellishly wrong.

Advance praise for The Ice Beneath Her

"Exceptional."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fans of Scandinavian crime fiction, and crime fiction generally, will enjoy the understated, angsty drama created by Grebe; librarians desperate for Girl on the Train read-alikes can also turn to this for readers who enjoy an antiheroine."--Booklist

"Impressive . . . a tour de force that lifts its author to the front rank among the increasingly crowded field of Nordic noir."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The Ice Beneath Her deserves to be called a page-turner--I read it in one sitting The narrative is fast-paced and the twists superb."--Cecilia Ekback, bestselling author of Wolf Winter

"Slowly and subtly, Camilla Grebe lets The Ice Beneath Her unfold into a multilayered, psychologically nuanced murder mystery in which the truth, rather than drawing nearer, keeps slipping further and further away--until it strikes with full force."--Arne Dahl, bestselling author of Misterioso

"Tense, gripping, and utterly unpredictable . . . Camilla Grebe is an extraordinarily gifted writer and a master of suspense."--Kristina Ohlsson, bestselling author of Unwanted

  • ISBN-13: 9780425284322
  • ISBN-10: 0425284328
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Psychological

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

The decapitation of a young woman propels Grebes exceptional solo debut, which examines three lives broken by failures to take responsibility in a Stockholm where even the sky is crying. Peter Lindgren, the detective investigating the crime, is afraid of commitment and still hasnt accepted the teenage son he never wanted; shop assistant Emma Bohman, whose now-missing wealthy lover appears to be the prime suspect in the murder, dwells on her painful dysfunctional childhood; and profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön, whos trapped in a suffocating marriage, faces early-onset Alzheimers while helping the police with the case. The present-day crime resembles a 10-year-old cold case during which Peter and Hanne shared a short, tragic relationship. In alternating chapters, the three central figures regret what could have been, grieve for whats been lost, and lament what seemingly can never be, until their bone-rattling self-revelations are redeemed at last by human love. Grebe has collaborated with her sister, Åsa Träff, on the crime series featuring psychologist Siri Bergman (More Bitter than Death, etc.). Agents: Astri Von Arbin Ahlander and Christine Edhäll, Ahlander Agency (Sweden). (Dec.)

BookPage Reviews

Whodunit: Try not to lose your head

When a new Scandinavian mystery hits the stands, you pretty much know it’s going to be good, and Swedish author Camilla Grebe’s The Ice Beneath Her, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel, does not let the team down. All the tried- and-true adjectives apply here: gripping, atmospheric, nuanced and, of course, graphically violent. The scene is set as a beautiful woman lies dead in the home of a much-vilified Stockholm businessman—and not peacefully deceased, but beheaded, with the head artfully arranged adjacent to the body. The crime bears disturbing similarities to an unsolved murder from 10 years earlier. To complicate matters, the chief suspect has disappeared, his abandoned girlfriend is on the warpath, and the lead profiler in the case suffers from what may be early onset dementia. And that’s just the setup. Through it all, the true killer remains as elusive as smoke on a breezy day, and when the twist comes, it’s one that even jaded Nordic noir fans likely won’t see coming. 

If you are planning to write a novel about spies, it would be good to have some intelligence credentials. Such credentials don’t come a lot more, well, credible than those of author Simon Conway, a former British Army officer who was tasked with clearing land mines and unexploded bombs in many of the world’s contemporary war zones. His latest novel, The Agent Runner, draws on that experience as he spins the tale of Edward Henry Malik, an MI6 officer who is the handler of one of the most valuable double agents in Pakistan. But when that double agent’s cover is blown, Malik becomes persona non grata, along the lines of “The Spy Who Got Kicked Out into the Cold.” He won’t stay that way for long, however, because his checkered past has become known to master Pakistani espionage agent Major General Javid Aslam Khan, who will find some use for Malik, alive or dead. If you’re in the mood for duplicity, violence and behind-the-scenes political deal-making, you’ve come to the right place. Conway delivers in such an authoritative manner that the reader may suspect this is a true story that never quite made it to the headlines.

Peter Swanson’s psychological thriller Her Every Fear has “movie adaptation” written all over it. It has an alluring location, a fragile yet resilient protagonist and a thoroughly Hitchcockian storyline, replete with the requisite false starts and plot twists. Some time ago, Kate Priddy suffered a terrifying and nearly fatal attack at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. He still haunts her dreams, and she is plagued with panic attacks in her waking hours. On impulse, she accepts an offer from a distant cousin to swap her London flat for his tony Italianate apartment in Boston, a six-month trade ostensibly to facilitate the cousin’s temporary posting to the U.K. Things begin to go downhill the day after she arrives in Beantown, when she discovers that her new next-door neighbor has been murdered, and there is evidence to suggest that her cousin may have been involved. A tenant across the courtyard claims he saw Kate’s cousin and the murdered woman together on numerous occasions, although her cousin denies knowing the victim. But even with all of Kate’s neuroses ready to dominate her life at a moment’s notice, she cannot begin to imagine the true enormity of the situation. High tension, lightning-fast pacing and psychological drama in spades all lead up to the ultimate question: Is it paranoia if somebody really is out to get you? 

Two Days Gone, Randall Silvis’ gripping new literary thriller, tells the story of a life turning from charmed to charred in the wink of an eye. Looking in from outside, you might think Thomas Huston had it all: a beautiful wife, three charming young children, a book atop the bestseller list and a tenured professorship at a prestigious Pennsylvania university. But not anymore, for his family lies dead in their suburban home, stabbed and slashed with almost surgical precision, and Huston is on the run. Sergeant Ryan DeMarco, who knows Huston peripherally, cannot get his head around the idea that Huston was responsible for the heinous act. But DeMarco has demons of his own to stare down, and he realizes that he may not be thinking empirically. Tension climbs and nerves fray as Huston tries to make sense of his family’s murder and DeMarco relentlessly follows the trail of clues. The fact that this book will be marketed as genre fiction is misleading; it’s more than that. It’s literature posing as a mystery, like works from Attica Locke or Louise Penny. Two Days Gone will be one of the best reading investments you make this year.


This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews