A pretty good Scandinavian Noir, this one set in Iceland, the first English translation (but the third in the series in Icelandic). The plot moves along at a fair pace, the heroic cop suitably disheveled and suffering from the expected Weltschmerz all Scandinavian cops must have. The best bits are the glimpses into Icelandic life, but there were a few jarring moments where the characters inexpertly explain stuff to each other for the readers’ benefit, a bit of head hopping from the author and sometimes characters behave in uncharacteristic ways (a convict with a swastika earring complains about the “fascist” guards, unless that was meant to be ironic, just one of a few discrepancies that pulled me out of the fictional world.) But for all its minor faults, the plot was sound and the intrigue was there to make me want to race to the end.
No. 24 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2020.
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Patrick Sherriff is an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.