Regular price: $24.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems...and no one can be trusted.

©2007 Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

looking forward to Book 2

What did you love best about Last Rituals: A Novel of Suspense?

I appreciated the information and descriptions of Iceland and its culture.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Last Rituals: A Novel of Suspense?

Memorable moments does not strike me as a helpful category because there are seldom any.

Have you listened to any of Elizabeth Wiley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. I thought the performance was excellent. She kept the characters distinct.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No, as I said, the special moment inquiry is annoying.

Any additional comments?

I hope Audible makes it a point to acquire other works by this author.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Thought it would be better.........

Would you try another book from Yrsa Sigurdardottir and/or Elizabeth Wiley?

What disappointed me in this book--and I am a huge fan of Scandinavian and Icelandic novels, was that first of all, the story line lacked any strength to get you involved right away. Secondly the pace of the plot became tedious, a flat line with nothing being revealed that would hold one's attention or anticipation.

Would you ever listen to anything by Yrsa Sigurdardottir again?

I strongly doubt unless the author tightens up her plot line and makes it much more interesting, less plodding,and a bit more surprising.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The other reason I did not like this audio was the narrator. Her inflections were very distracting. Ms Wiley would elevate her voice in the middle of a sentence, giving the impression of a lack of seriousness to the thought of the sentence.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

How to make a sensational subject boring

Read that publisher’s plot summary: Eyes cut out! Strange symbols! Witch hunts! Horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions! Combine that with what we love about Nordic noir, and how could anyone go wrong? Amazingly, Yrsa Sigurdardottir manages to make this plot ploddingly dull. The narrator, perhaps trying to enliven the dry plotline or maybe just trying to stay awake herself, added such a sarcastic tone to the protagonist/detective’s every line, made matters worse by making it hard to sympathize with or take the protagonist seriously.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent story, not great narration

This book is mediocre . I did not give up on it but also was not waiting in anticipation to get back to it every day... The narrator does the 2 main characters well but all the secondary characters especially the little girl and teenage son were almost unbearable . Fortunately they were not in the story a lot !

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Who Cares

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Neither the historical subject of this book, nor the characters, ever quite caught my interest. I usually like a mystery with history. The self-absorbed central character, Thora, seems to be very intelligent and a quick study, but initially sexually naive to no purpose and boringly caught up in the vicissitudes of her daily life. It is hard to believe she studied in Germany or anywhere abroad. Her motive for doing this investigation is the money, which she needs to maintain her house, because she's recently divorced. The mystery and other characters are treated byThora alternatively as sensational, ghoulish, eccentric or just plain foolish. This is the silliness obsessional rich academic foreigners get up to! Thora has no empathy with the victims, present or past. She laments she can't afford to eat out or stay in hotels for fun. I kept thinking that as a listener, I should be paid. When she ran home, I thought of checking my laundry. I couldn't wait for this to be over. Compared to other weakly plotted mysteries that are carried by their introspective investigators who become interested in their subjects and draw in the reader, this story seems merely reported and rather thin. Possibly this book is written to appeal to working mothers. The narrator goes on and on about the language barrier, missing her children, the vagaries of life after divorce. Maybe she is typically Icelandic in the mind of the author. My problem is I didn't much care. I did finish the book to see how it came out, despite the annoying narration, but this isn't Rome, or even Three Pines. She's not Jane Eyre or the Nanny in the Turn of the Screw.

Would you be willing to try another book from Yrsa Sigurdardottir? Why or why not?

I would try another book because she writes well, despite the fact that I cannot pronounce her name.

What aspect of Elizabeth Wiley’s performance would you have changed?

The broken English dialogue drove me crazy. I found it took enormous effort to remain attentive, which was partly the narration and partly because the character had things to do at home.

Do you think Last Rituals: A Novel of Suspense needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I wouldn't listen to the second book because Thora is not appealing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

three

After listening to the author's book, Undesired, I tried this title but found it dull in comparison. Chock full of potential that simply plods along. The research on history is interesting.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book ruined by extremely poor narration

Would you try another book from Yrsa Sigurdardottir and/or Elizabeth Wiley?

By the author yes; by the narrator, never

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration had an oddly flippant quality that ruined the experience of the novel. The two central characters -- Thora, the attorney who is the lead character in the series, an the German man she meets through the case, are serious, intelligent, interesting characters who were utterly trivialized by the narrator's silly, affected voice. In addition, the narrator's use of a comic-opera German accent was just awful. It was very difficult to understand and sounded like something from a 1930's movie. I believe the narration did an enormous disservice to the novel and I cannot understand how the publisher agreed to release it.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The book itself is very good. It's an interesting picture of life in Iceland for a single professional woman and mother. It has a plausible romantic subplot and the mystery itself is absorbing. The translation is good too -- flows well. it is just unlistenable.

Any additional comments?

I simply don't get how such an awful narration was approved and published.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful