The long Easter weekend provided some nice time for reading, so I read this book within 24 hours . 🙂 When I noticed a new book is coming from the Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg, I immediately pre-ordered the Finnish translation to be able get my hands on it right away, as the English translation is still to be released.
Heidän raivonsa oli hänen raivoaan. Ja hänen raivonsa oli heidän raivoaan.Translation: Their rage was her rage. And her rage was their rage.
Camilla Läckberg takes on a new territory with The Golden Cage with a new, more bold main character and a darker setting. Did I enjoy this book more than her long Fjällbacka series? Nope, but I still devoured it!
I’ve been a fan of Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka series, even though contemporary crime books aren’t my most favorite genre. To me Läckberg’s books mean that I will get very well made characters with interesting pasts that offer a deep look at how human psyche works when things get horrible. To balance out the violence, and darkness of humankind, there is the almost cozy setting of life in a Swedish coastal village of Fjällbacka. The everyday lives of the characters in that setting has been as interesting as the crimes, then again I am a fan of cozy mysteries, so no surprises there. The setting has made me enjoy a more modern approach to mystery and suspense and as a Finnish person, I enjoy the homely feeling of a Nordic coastal setting. 🙂
The new book, The Golden Cage, is quite different. Läckberg clearly wanted to make a very different heroine to this new book and an equally different setting. The main character, Faye Adelheim, is a rich man’s wife in the middle of Stockholm hustle and bustle and that setting is her golden cage once everything goes awry with her marriage. The seemingly shallow world of the Stockholm elite provides a more dynamic pace to this book (compared to the Fjällbacka books) and the book is more dark and graphic in e.g. how the sex scenes are described. The Golden Cage definitely takes itself apart from the more quiet Fjällbacka village.
The story was pretty predictable, but Läckberg still keeps it interesting by steadily exposing her characters’ inner motives with all their dark corners for the reader to understand them better. I actually felt that I did not like any of the characters in this book, and usually if this happens I won’t be finishing that book. However, there were many details and background information to why the characters were unlikable and that made it somehow ok and I was able to enjoy the book fully despite not having a bond to a character.
I won’t go into the plot too much, as the book is still so new that spoilers are very likely. But overall the book taps into the post #MeToo era with themes of revenge and how women have had enough of bad treatment. As a feminist I enjoyed this theme a lot, of course. Women supporting women, sharing bad experiences for added visibility (and action) is a good thing and this is very much one of the points of The Golden Cage. The other point is how far a person can go to get their revenge. Faye goes a long way to get hers despite the struggles with her determination and morals. End justifies the means? For Faye definitely, and it’s an interesting journey to read with Läckberg’s signature snippets from the past that slowly become relevant motivators for the character’s present actions.
All in all it was a very entertaining book, and I’m interested to see if this revenge theme will make a book series even if Faye is not the main character in the possible upcoming books. However, for me the Fjällbacka series will remain number one from Läckbergs books, with the cozy lives of Erica and Patrik and the occasional murders that shake the community of that little Swedish village.
The Golden Cage has a spot in the Reading Challenge and it fills the prompt of:
49. A book published in 2019
Published just this month, The Golden Cage couldn’t be more fresh from the (publisher’s) oven. This is another entertaining book from the Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg and she delivers a modern suspense in the heart of Stockholm.
What Reading Challenge? Check out my earlier post here.