The Stranger-Camilla Läckberg aka The Gallow's Bird
Novel (translation) (Patrik Hedström series)
"A local woman is killed in a tragic car crash. It's a strange accident - the victim's blood contains high alcohol levels, but she rarely drank a drop. The case marks the end of a quiet winter for Detective Patrik Hedstrom. Meanwhile, a reality TV show begins shooting in the town, and as cameras shadow the stars' every move, tempers start to flare. When a drunken party ends with an unpopular contestant's murder, all eyes turn to the cast and crew - could there be a murderer among them? The ratings spike as the country tunes in to a real life murder mystery. Under the unforgiving media spotlight, Patrik tackles his toughest investigation yet..."
Scandinavian crime is apparently very popular and often the crime novels I pick at random from the library choices are indeed from Scandinavia. The Stranger is enjoyable for what it is. Popular crime. Läckberg handles the convoluted plot very well and writes fairly clearly. The pacing is well done (fast) and the crimes are grisly but not overly so. It's really all well done but I really have some difficulty articulating why I enjoyed it so much. If you like crime thrillers (which I do), this is a great one to read.
The writing is at times a bit exasperating. There's a lot of details about the personal lives of the characters that is completely extraneous to the plot. The characters that are not involved in the crime plotlines are a bit archetypal straying to stereotype. The crime plots are well pieced and the twists are great but unless you love the characters, the wedding preparations might get a bit annoying.