An inconvenient reassignment has landed Reykjavík crime reporter Einar in the small northern town of Akureyri, where his biggest story to date has been the college stage production of Loftur the Sorcerer, an Icelandic folktale of ambition and greed. But that supposedly ancient history becomes ominously relevant when an unexpected new story lands in Einar’s lap: A local woman dies after falling overboard during a corporate boating retreat. All evidence suggests an accident, but when the victim’s mother cries foul play, kindhearted Einar agrees to investigate.
Days later, the lead actor in Loftur vanishes, leaving the locals reeling - and Einar unconvinced that a single village could be so accident prone. Keenly perceptive and hungry for the truth, he begins to chip away at the small-town facade, uncovering a tangled and all-too-modern web of power and greed that threatens to devour the historic community once and for all.
©2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2012 Arni Thorarinsson; Translation copyright 2012 Anna Yates
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
This was not the first crime I have read that was written by an Icelandic author. The first one was far more depressing, involving spousal/child abuse, drug addiction and murder. This book also involved spousal/child abuse, drug addiction and murder, but in a somewhat more light-hearted vein-- well as light-hearted as you can get about those topics.
I honestly cannot decide if the style is the result of an awkward translation or if the awkward phrasing and strange humor is just Icelandic. I did however learn many facts about Iceland so I began to simply treat it as a sociological study. The author explains at one point that Iceland doesn't have a passenger rail system and that is one of the things that I cannot get out of my head. Of course other things leave me wondering if the main character would seems as odd to Icelandic readers as he appears to me.
This book seems to have been written before the Icelandic financial bust of 2008 when the entire banking system failed. (I had read-- and recommend-- Michael Lewis' "Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World" and became intrigued by his description of his time in Iceland.)
This was a special deal when I bought it and as long as the price remains low I think that it is worth the time it takes to listen to it, but it's not a book that I would have been happy had I paid full price for it.
The narrator is new to me and I think he is OK, but this is another book that was improved by putting the reading speed on 1.25X. It seemed to drag a 1X.
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