Published by: Constable (3rd March 2016)
Source: Agent provided review copy
When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik's premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day's shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages...
I've quite recently started reading some crime thrillers set in Sweden, so this Icelandic noir felt quite familiar to me, and the names of the characters and places not so difficult to get my tongue around as if I'd only previously read British and American books.
The characters are numerous, and complex; they all add something to this gritty tale. I really warmed towards Gunna. She's determined yet caring, and absolutely resolved to get to the bottom of this latest case and see the perpetrator/s punished.
I really liked the story - it starts off with a simple crime that rapidly unravels and morphs into something else entirely. It's gritty and realistic with lots of detail that make it believable. It's a fast read with plenty of action to keep you interested. It should appeal to discerning crime readers. Well worth a read.