The Gingerbread House by Carin GerhardsenMy rating: Crime
The Gingerbread House explores the question of how childhood misery can extend into adult life, through the story of a killer picking off preschool classmates in revenge for sadistic schoolyard bullying. At no point does the author flinch from the brutality of the story, even when (in flashbacks) its subjects are young children, which makes for uncomfortable reading in places.
The narrative was interspersed with passages from the killer's diary, and while I'm not generally a fan of that technique, it happens to be done very well in this book. The writing style even changes in the diary sections, to be more clumsy and disjointed.
I really enjoyed the character development of the police officers, as they struggled (not always successfully) to balance work an home lives, and I hope we'll see more of Conny, Petra, Jamal, and colleagues in future books.