THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Written by Carin Gerhardsen

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Stockholm Text
RRP: £12.99
Released: 25th October 2012
Trade Paperback

Several gruesome murders in quick succession shock the city of Stockholm.  Could Sweden have its first serial killer?  The victims appear to have no common denominator.  But then investigating officer Conny Sjoberg accidentally stumbles across the fact that as six-year-olds, all the victims were in the same class.

Swedish serial killer novels appear to be the hot new thing – ironic from a country that has never had a real-life serial killer.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Although there is an intriguing plot in this novel, it is let down somewhat by too many info dumps and some rather stilted dialogue.  These seem to be common features in Scandinavian novels and I am generally prepared to assume there are problems in translation and give them the benefit of the doubt.  But I suspect in Sweden readers are far more forgiving of writers spending time on apparently irrelevant detail than Western editors seem to be.

In spite of this, however, there is a good story here, and the underlining plot is the issue of childhood bullying.  Most of us who were bullied as children have dreamed about getting revenge on the bullies, and with reference being made in this author’s biography about the book being based on real life experiences, one gets the impression that this author is playing out a life long festering grudge and fictionally murdering the bullies that made her childhood a misery.

Still, what I thought was going to be a predictable story did throw up a few surprises.  If you’re fond of Scandinavian crime novels then you will enjoy this book.  And anyone who’s ever fantasized about getting their own back on the bullies will get something out of it, too.

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