Fearless Heart is a character-driven murder mystery about one woman’s journey to acceptance and healing, all while trying to find a killer.
Astrid Källström is an investigative reporter in Sweden traveling to Minnesota to celebrate the wedding of her brother, Anders, though she’s not looking forward to it. Not only does she dislike her brother’s fiancée, Courtney, but she has unresolved issues with her mother and her mother’s new husband, who has behaved inappropriately toward Astrid in the past.
When Astrid finally arrives in Minnesota, she’s greeted with a gruesome discovery: Anders’ friend’s brother was the victim of a hit and run, and Anders believes that Astrid can use her investigative skills to find the killer. To do so, Astrid must navigate the difficult personal and professional situations she finds herself in.
Although it has a complex and intriguing storyline, Fearless Heart is a slower read than it should be. The author tells readers about the characters, rather than showing them, and the novel suffers for that. For example, the first chapter launches into a brief biography of one of the main characters, rather than allowing readers to stumble upon the information as it becomes relevant. Any forward momentum is lost during the many asides of this kind.
Fearless Heart has a soap opera feel, as there is a lot of personal turmoil running through the story. It’s not always believable, but readers get the feeling that it isn’t supposed to be; this is pure escapist fare. Readers are supposed to be sucked into Astrid’s life and forget about their own for a while. Despite the narrative issues, the novel does that well. The storyline is exciting, Astrid is well developed, and readers come to care for her as she deals with all that is thrown at her in this book.
Readers who enjoy juicy novels combined with mysteries should consider Fearless Heart.