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The Stranger (originally published as The Gallows Bird)

Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck, Book 4
Narrated by: Eamonn Riley
Series: Fjallbacka Mysteries, Book 4
Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For the first time in English, the fourth psychological thriller from No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Läckberg.

A woman is found dead, apparently the victim of a tragic car crash. It’s the first in a spate of seemingly inexplicable accidents in Tanumshede and marks the end of a quiet winter for detective Patrik Hedstrom and his colleagues.

At the same time a reality TV show is being shot in the town. As cameras shadow the stars’ every move, relations with the locals are strained to breaking point. When a drunken party ends with a particularly unpopular contestant’s murder, the cast and crew are obvious suspects. Could there be a killer in their midst?

As the country tunes in, the bodies mount up. Under the intense glare of the media spotlight, Patrik faces his toughest investigation yet…

©2011 Camilla Lackberg (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“Lackberg is an expert at mixing scenes of domestic cosiness with blood-curdling horror… a must for white-knuckle junkies.” ( The Guardian)

What listeners say about The Stranger (originally published as The Gallows Bird)

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 01-04-2011

Translation or tone?

I found this a disappointing listen though the narrator does his best. I think it was more than rather weak translation - this book is not well written - it is laboured and it shows. There is a great deal of needless padding as in painstaking description of detail that we just don't need to know and there is also a peculiar tone to ths book which often reads like a childrens book. Added to this the irritatingly New Swedish Men, plodding Patrick & his sidekick Martin, who trip over themselves to be Politically Correct this book lacked the tension essential to a really good thriller.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marion Ives
  • 04-05-2011

A fabulous listen!

I am an avid listener of Camilla Lackberg ever since listening to The Ice princess. I do think that you have to listen to the books in the order that they were written so that you can get to know the characters and also get used to Camilla's style of writing. The Gallow's Bird is certainly, in my opinion, a nail biter and a brilliant listen. It keeps you guessing until the very end as to whom comitted the crime. I thoroughly enjoyed it and also loved the reading. Emonn's accents were brilliant. I can't wait to see what is going to happen next. Hopefully The German Brat is translated soon so that we can find out.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 22-04-2020

Did not disappoint!

Fascinating plot which keeps you on your toes and the performance is really good! A very entertaining listen!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rollin
  • 04-08-2012

Disappointing and slightly corny

I had never read Camilla Lackberg but since I like Nordic whodunits, I decided to give her a try. Never more. Although the plot is interesting and complex, she doesn't succeed in bringing in together. The dialogues are especially stilted and even corny. Eamonn Riley does a reasonable job of narrating, though.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Okey
  • 07-09-2011

Good!

What did you love best about The Gallows Bird?

The story is with flashbacks, well constructed.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The caracters are brilliants, very well written their feelings.

What about Eamonn Riley’s performance did you like?

Very clear speaking.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Thriller.

Any additional comments?

nice book.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • jacqueline
  • 19-10-2011

Tedium in book form

This is the second book I have tried by this writer. I didn't like the first one but was willing to give her a second chance. I should have known better! To call this 'crime fiction' is quite a stretch. There is 10% police story but most of the book is best described as domestic detail - chapters and chapters about the cuteness of their baby or Erika choosing her wedding dress or some other tedious information. I started fast forwarding through those bits I was getting so bored. The characters are wooden stereotypes - the humourless but oh so PC hero husband, the ridiculous boss. I suspect the narrator made it worse. His jolly, breezy tone would be more appropriate to a children's book.

All in all, a badly written, wooden book full of tedious fluff. Avoid!

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Russell
  • 14-04-2011

I really love Camilla Lackberg novels

But this audio book is let down by two things. The first is the at best workmanlike translation by Steven T. Murray with his usual heavy handed approach to language. Many subtleties of meaning seem to get lost and there is over use of the same phrase time after time. It is almost as if it has been translated by machine but I cannot simply put it down to being translated into American English rather than British English as I have with some of his previous translations, it's just really bad this time around.

Secondly is Eamonn Riley's delivery which seems very hurried. He does not leave enough space between sections in a chapter when the narrative moves from, for example, Patrick to Erica which means you are not sure who is speaking for a while. Similarly he leaves big gaps between paragraphs dealing with the same narrator but when listening you are expecting there to be a change and again it is confusing as to which character in the story is narrating. Finally his pronunciation of some Swedish names and places is also either off or he mumbles his way through them.

The story is actually quite good but is badly let down the translation and narration. The story alone deserves 4 stars.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John Smith
  • 04-04-2011

john at stock

I have fallen in love with Swedish writers and if Camilla is a good writer I will never know. I switched off after 10 minutes of tripe reading and awful ponderous English--something must have happened in the translation. Worst book in 5 yrs of membership and bin the reader please unless its a comic book....

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Donatella
  • 01-04-2011

awuful reader

good enough book totally utterly ruined by the reader! awful mock acting! really hated him and will avoid books read by him in the future!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • subangi+0404conepod
  • 14-04-2011

Just Ok

Thought this was just ok, many other titles I enjoyed better. Can only recommend to a select few.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 01-04-2011

Disappointing

I've listened to two books by this author before so was really pleased when this book was available. So disappointed, too much happy families and not enough mystery/crime.
The Preacher and the Stonecutter's Daughter are much better and I would give them five stars but not this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Agathe
  • 18-06-2020

A bit wet

I first was introduced to Camilla Läckberg a couple of weeks ago when I listened to The Guilded Cage. I quite enjoyed the book and decided to look for more of her work. Started with the first book of the Fjällbacka-series. Also quite enjoyed. However Erika gets more and more weak and the awful descriptions of the people «oh Patrick is the boss at work but Erika is the boss at home» just .... ugh. I also knew from the very beginning of this book who were behind. Narration is cringy - why try to pronounce names in Swedish and fail massively when they can easily be said in English like Erica? And Nora becomes Noor. This relates to all the books so far in the series. Serviette - yeah, please just say napkin. That’s what the author meant. Glamour is the Swedish name of the show The Bold and the beautiful. One time it was translated but not the first time it was mentioned. (Ok, this was probably the previous book.) This story was just so so so terrible, and with characters that were so flat. I did not believe in them. At all. I can go on and on, but I won’t. The story itself could have been excellent, it is ruined by stereotypical characters, awful translation and annoying narration. Please just read Camilla’s latest book instead - The guilded Cage. She has developet a lot as an author, and her characters now have depth to them. They are not just «guys guy» or «bad guy» anymore.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-05-2020

quite expectable but nice

really liked it... narrator very nice... quite expectable.... nice theme... can't wait for next one...

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Irena
  • 01-01-2020

extremly bad in all ways

very boring, badly narrated, predictable all in all a huge disappointment. l do not recommend it at all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maggie Kiely
  • 14-07-2013

Enjoyed but others are better

Again as with all Camilla Lackberg novels I really was excited to get this book and couldnt wait to read it once purchased. The narrative is ok although a bit slow on this one. I love the small details of the character lives we are given as they are quite funny in parts. I enjoy the whodunnit aspect of the story. Could not recommend this one but you may wish to read if going through the whole series.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Taina
  • 07-04-2013

Nothing out of the ordinary

After enjoying immensely The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the rest of the books in that trilogy, I decided to sample some more Swedish crime writers and started with this one. This seemed so ordinary and run-of-the-mill in comparison that I haven't tried any other Swedish writers since (though I probably will later). But when compared to other crime writing, excluding Stieg Larsson, this is probably quite good. Maybe I just shouldn't have read it so soon after such masterpieces of crime fiction.