DVD Review: CAMILLA LÄCKBERG: The Preacher, The Stonecutter, The Stranger (MHz Networks)

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by Dale Reynolds on December 26, 2017



These three Swedish murder mysteries by the best selling Camilla Läckberg are a mixed lot, but still worth a visit. Born in 1974, the über-successful author has seen her stories filmed quite a bit for television, with all of her mysteries set in the Swedish town of Fjällbacka and nearby communities, so the series is called Fjällbackamorden (Fjällbacka Murders); this bunch are the latest purchased by MHz Releasing, a fine outlet for European police-procedure shows.

Released on DVD (five episodes on one disc) and streaming on MHz Choice, these three tales — “The Preacher,” (2007) “The Stonecutter,” (2009) and “The Jinx” (aka “The Stranger”) (2009) — are based on her novels. Our two protagonists, novelist Erika Falck (Elisabet Carlsson) and detective-husband Patrick Hedström (the charismatic Niklas Hjulström), solve murders that are generally covered over as accidents or suicides. But, being more than merely competent, this charming duo eventually finds the true culprits, sometimes at the peril of their own lives.

In “The Preacher,” newly-pregnant Erika discovers a woman who died in a hollow on the rocks, but when her body is removed, two skeletons are found beneath, which leads them to a popular religious figure in the town who is much more than he advertises.

“The Stonecutter” – the best of the trio – puts new-papa Patrik on the trail of a possible serial killer when a child is found drowned, but with evidence that points to a probable murder.

In the weakest of the trio, “The Stranger” (aka “The Jinx”), a murder is exposed when a woman reeking of alcohol in a fancy sports car misses a curve and plunges into a lake. Was she already dead when the car crashed or was she set up by some unknown person? Events put the villains in full view.

The shows are beautifully shot by cinematographer Håkan Holmberg, professionally directed by Emiliano Goessens, and get a mostly-successful adaptation by Alexander Söderberg. All-in-all, solid, fun films with attractive Swedish scenery, and a minimum of on-screen violence.

Camilla Läckberg
“The Preacher” | “The Stonecutter” | “The Stranger”
MHz Networks
in Swedish with English subtitles
DVD (2017) | 1 disc | 320 minutes | not rated
available on Amazon or MHz Streaming

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cris Franco January 6, 2018 at 2:27 am

With so much terrific scripted programming now available — it’s wonderful to read reviews of these lesser advertised shows. You’re doing a great service by covering these foreign series. Thanks!


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