Good news, stateside Nordic noir fans. That taste we had of the Swedish crime drama series Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders earlier this year is about to be a five-course treat.
Avid readers of mystery fiction will know the name Camilla Läckberg, as she is the bestselling Swedish author of the “Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck” (aka “Fjällbacka”) series of novels that have sold more than 12 million copies in 50+ countries.
As with the novels, the crime thrillers in Sets 1 and 2 of Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders (Fjällbackamorden) revolve around murders committed in the quaint seaside village of Fjällbacka in western Sweden, that are unofficially investigated by successful crime novelist Erica Falck (Claudia Galli, Welcome to Sweden) and officially by her policeman husband Patrik Hedström (Richard Ulfsäter, Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter).
Although one of the TV adaptations — The Sea Gives, the Sea Takes — premiered in the US back in April, the story of how Erica and Patrik come to be in Fjällbacka actually begins in…
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders: The Hidden Child (Fjällbackamorden: Tyskungen)
Following the death of Erica’s parents in an auto accident, Erica, Patrik, and their three children move to her hometown of Fjällbacka for a quiet life in this idyllic setting. A few months later, a man appears in their home and surprises Erica, both with his uninvited presence in her living room and his news: They have the same mother and he is her half-brother. Skeptical about his claims (and a tad nervous about this stranger), she asks him to leave, and he does. Then he’s found murdered a few days later.
Now with her curiosity piqued, Erica delves into her mother’s belongings to try to find out more about her mother and this sibling she never knew she had. What she discovers is that her mother had secrets, dark ones, from a long-ago past — secrets that one or more person(s) in the present want(s) to keep hidden.
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders: In the Eye of the Beholder (Fjällbackamorden: I Betraktarens Öga)
It’s lust at first sight between Erica’s sister Anna and the host of an antiques-themed television program, when they meet while the show is set to film at the castle in Fjällbacka. It is here that Anna finds a woman unconscious from an overdose, which leads to Erica and Patrik’s involvement in the goings-on.
Things turn deadly the next day when a well-to-do businessman, rumored to have been in an affair that led to the overdose, is found murdered. Complicating matters is the discovery of a painting owned by the man amongst Anna’s belongings — a valuable piece that went missing after he had brought it for the antiques show. Even more troubling is Anna’s admission that she had spent the night with him, making her the last person to have seen him alive.
Guest stars include Johan Hedenberg (The Bridge), Anki Lidén (The Sandhamn Murders), Per Morberg (Codename Hunter), Christoffer Nordenrot (Blue Eyes), Emma Swenninger (Irene Huss), and Sofia Zouagui (Beck).
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders: Friends for Life (Fjällbackamorden: Vänner för Livet)
After Erica’s agent suggests the subject of her next book be a true event from her life, she recalls Peter, a classmate who disappeared after boarding a bus when she was thirteen years old. As Erica begins digging into the two-decade-old mystery, new ones arise.
These include more murders, including the one of Peter’s brother, who was on his way to see Erica when he was killed, and another that occurs at a high school reunion party after Peter’s sister unexpectedly shows up. Both events lead Erica closer to the truth of what really happened to Peter.
Guest stars include Meliz Karlge (Johan Falk), Fredrik Hallgren (The Sandhamn Murders), Lisa Linnertorp (Arne Dahl), Måns Nathanaelson (Beck), Anders Nordahl (Johan Falk), and Marie Robertson (Real Humans).
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders: The Sea Gives, the Sea Takes (Fjällbackamorden: Havet Ger, Havet Tar)
Erica befriends Fjällbacka photographer Stigge, and after finding him murdered in his studio soon afterward, she does some digging of her own while Patrik and his colleagues investigate a possible motive for the murder of a man who was supposedly so sweet.
As Erica learns from her mother-in-law Kristina, Stigge was anything but sweet, and a lot of people had plenty of motive for killing him, including Kristina herself, as she was one of many in the village that Stigge had blackmailed. And we learn via flashbacks to the 1960s how the young Stigge had covered up a murder to win the love of his life.
Guest stars include Harriet Andersson (The Eagle), Kristoffer Berglund (100 Code), Eivin Dahlgren (When Darkness Falls), Mylaine Hedreul (Maria Wern), Henrik Norlén (Johan Falk), and Linus Wahlgren (Crimes of Passion).
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders: Coast Rider (Fjällbackamorden: Strandridaren)
Patrik and Erica’s plans for a romantic getaway get sidetracked when young coast guard Jessica contacts Patrik for help after discovering two dead scuba divers in the waters off Kungshamn following a storm. Since Erica and Patrik are unknown in these parts, she keeps her being a cop’s wife a secret to get information from villagers without arousing suspicion.
Soon after Erica encounters a couple of locals soliciting donations for the Kungshamn Ship Museum and meets the museum’s chairman, the latter is found murdered. Now there are three deaths for Patrik (and Erica) to investigate, and what seems to link the victims is their mutual interest in the wreckage of a ship from the 1800s. As Erica later learns, the dead divers had discovered bottles of wine amongst the debris — finds that would fetch millions of kroner at auction.
Guest stars include Lina Englund (Arn: The Knight Templar), Annika Hallin (Millennium), Jens Hultén (The Inspector and the Sea), Johan H:son Kjellgren (Anno 1790), Johanna Lazcano (Verdict: Revised), and Tom Ljungman (Wallander).
Series regulars include Pamela Cortes Bruna (Irene Huss), Eva Frijtofson (The Sandhamn Murders), Lennart Jähkel (Talisman), and Ann Westin (Rederiet).
Produced by Tre Vänner Produktion AB, the feature-length episodes of Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders are shown in Swedish with English subtitles on MHz Worldview and MHz Live, on successive Fridays beginning tonight, 24 July 2015, at 9 PM ET.