Frozen Assets (Officer Gunnhilder Series #1)

Frozen Assets (Officer Gunnhilder Series #1)

by Quentin Bates

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A body is found floating in the harbor of a rural Icelandic fishing village. Was it an accident, or something more sinister?  It’s up to Officer Gunnhildur, a sardonic female cop, to find out. Her investigation uncovers a web of corruption connected to Iceland’s business and banking communities. Meanwhile, a rookie crime journalist latches onto her, looking for a scoop, and an anonymous blogger is stirring up trouble. The complications increase, as do the stakes, when a second murder is committed. Frozen Assets is a piercing look at the endemic corruption that led to the global financial crisis that bankrupted Iceland’s major banks and sent the country into an economic tailspin from which it has yet to recover.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569478684
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/18/2011
Series: Officer Gunnhilder Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 426,002
File size: 556 KB

About the Author

Quentin Bates lived in Iceland for ten years, during which time he got married, produced a family, and generally went native. He moved back to the UK with his family in 1990 and became a full-time journalist at a commercial fishing magazine. He and his wife frequently return to Iceland, where they have many friends, including several in the Reykjavik police.

Read an Excerpt


Tuesday, 26 August

Water gurgled between the piles of the dock and the car’s tyres
juddered over the heavy timbers. Somewhere a generator puttered on
board one of the longliners tied up at the quay.

The driver turned off the engine and killed the lights before
stepping out of the car and taking a deep breath of fragrant summer
air, still and laden with the tang of seaweed. He looked about him
carefully and walked along the quay, watching the boats for any sign
of activity.

Satisfied, he opened the passenger door. He lifted the passenger’s
legs out and then stooped to drape an arm over his shoulders.
Grunting with exertion, he hauled the passenger to his feet.

‘Waas goin’ on?’ the passenger slurred as the driver steadied himself,
planting his feet wide. He half supported, half dragged the passenger
the few metres towards the gangplank of the nearest boat.

‘Come on. Almost there.’

The passenger staggered against the driver. ‘W-w-where’s this?’

‘Nearly there,’ the driver muttered to himself as much as to his

He braced one booted foot on the heavy timber parapet running
the length of the quay, and quickly straightened his back as he
tipped the passenger headlong into the blackness below. The splash
competed for a second with the muttering generator on board a
nearby boat and the driver stood still, listening intently. Hearing
nothing from below, he nodded to himself and padded back to the

A moment later the engine whispered into life and the car vanished
into the night.

The phone buzzed angrily. Gunna fumbled for the handset in the dark
and barked into it.


‘Good morning. Sorry to wake you up. I did wake you up, didn’t
I?’ asked a familiar voice as she cast about for the face that went with it.

‘You did,’ she yawned. ‘Who is this?’

‘Albert Jónasson.’

Gunna stretched a hand to the curtain and twitched it aside to let
in a glare of early morning sunlight.

‘And what can I do for you at this ungodly hour?’ she asked,
knowing that Albert Jónasson was not a man to trouble a police officer
without good reason, especially one who had arrested him only a few
weeks before.

‘Thought you’d be the best person to talk to. There’s a bloke down
by the quay.’

‘You woke me up to tell me there’s a stranger by the dock?’ Gunna

‘Yeah. A stranger who’s dead.’

She snapped awake and swung her feet on to the cold floor.


‘On the beach by the pontoons. Saw something in the waves and
went to have a look.’

‘Right. Stay where you are. I’ll be right there.’

Gunna drove past the half-dozen longline boats tied up at the quay
and slowed down as the car rumbled on to the black gravel that made
up the track leading to the small boat dock. She could make out a
solitary figure standing next to the only boat there, a bearded bear of
a man in orange oilskin trousers pacing the pontoon dock next to a
spotless fishing boat that puttered with its engine idling.

She parked at the top of the dock among the fishermen’s pickup
trucks and Albert Jónasson strode to meet her, pointing at a bundle
lying among the waves lapping on the black sand of the beach a few
metres away.

‘Down there,’ he said grimly, following behind as Gunna trod
gingerly, wary of disturbing anything.

‘Have you been down here, Albert?’ she called over her shoulder.
‘No fear. Leave well alone, I thought.’

‘You haven’t had a look? How did you know it was a body?’

‘I got here a bit late. All the others were away before daybreak. I was
just starting up and saw something floating, so I had a look with the
binoculars and saw what it was. So I thought I’d better give you a call.’

Gunna ripped a pair of surgical gloves from the pouch on her tool
belt and snapped them on before she squatted by the bundle and
gently smoothed matted red hair back from a face that looked peaceful
but lost. She pressed the button on her Tetra communicator and spoke
into the tiny microphone on her collar.

‘Nine eight four one, nine five five zero. Are you there, Haddi?’
She retreated and pulled her phone from her pocket.

‘Albert, are you going to sea today?’ she asked as the dialling tone

‘I was going to.’

‘All right. Ah, Haddi, that took a while,’ she said, switching her
attention to the phone. ‘Look, shelve everything, we have an
unidentified body floating in the small boat dock. You’d better get the
cavalry out.’

Albert watched Gunna nodding as she paced back and forth,
admiring her solid frame inside the uniform that didn’t do it justice.

‘No,’ she continued. ‘Ambulance and the technical division,
discreetly if that’s at all possible. Get Bjössi over from CID in Keflavík
if he’s not too busy with the Baltic mafia. OK?’

She ended the call and looked over to where Albert was waiting
patiently for her.

‘Am I all right to go to sea today, then?’

‘When will you be back?’

‘Three. Four, maybe.’

‘Go on then. But I’ll need you to make a statement when you’ve
finished landing your fish.’

‘No problem,’ Albert said gratefully, already making his way along
the pontoon and throwing off the boat’s mooring ropes in the process.
‘See you later, Gunna,’ he called out as the boat surged from the quay.
And I’ll stay here and wait for the professionals to turn up, Gunna
thought, opening the squad car’s boot to get out a roll of tape to
cordon off the area. She wondered if the tape had ever been used
before in Hvalvík, a village where a speeding ticket or an uncooperative
drunk were the most serious crimes she or Haddi normally
had to deal with.

26-08-2008, 0944

Skandalblogger writes:

You can’t keep a good blog down!

So, we’re back and once again the Icelandic scandal blog has a
brand-new home! We’ve been tarred and feathered and run out of
town on a rail one more time, so this time we’re back stronger than
ever in a delightful part of the world where they respect the power of
Mr Visa to overrule the pathetic attempts of those-who-run-things to
silence free speech. Hurrah for the Tiger economies! Free speech is
there for those willing to pay for it!

Making friends and influencing people!

But anyway, folks, and we mean that most sincerely, our favourites
are still up to their old tricks. Gunni Benedikts at the trade ministry, no
doubt after a looong lunch with his old chum Óli at agriculture, has just
decided to block imports of New Zealand lamb to our fair country.
Now, some of you may find this a bit hard to stomach, what with all the
claptrap these guys have been spouting over the years about free
market economics, going for the most competitive bid, and all that
shit. But let’s remember which party holds trade? And agriculture? Of
course, it’s our old friends the Progressives, and we can’t go upsetting
the farmers, or at least the half-dozen who are still in business and
who vote for them, just by letting them be undercut by cheap foreign
imports. That wouldn’t be fair, would it?

(Private) Power to (a few of) the People!

As for everyone’s favourite minister . . . ! Bjarni Jón, now just who
are your new friends? And we don’t mean the guys at InterAlu, it’s
their friends from further east we’re interested in this time. From what
a little bird whispers in our ear, these are oil people. Energy people.
Money people. Powerful people. Watch your back, BJB, and when
you’ve shaken hands with them, you’d better count your fingers, just
to make sure.

We’ve heard the rumours circulating around environment and trade,
and the PM’s office, and we’re not going to believe it, as we know what
a great guy you really are. We’re absolutely certain that you’d never
sideline the National Power Authority by inviting a foreign company to
build and run a private power station to sell electricity to InterAlu. So,
please, BJB, tell us it ain’t true?

Watch this space, there’ll be more tomorrow!


Haddi firmly believed that a whirlwind of unwarranted attention had
descended on Hvalvík and its tiny police station. By mid-morning the
station’s older, but junior, police officer would have preferred to be
making his accustomed tour of the village in the station’s better Volvo,
taking in coffee, gossip and a doughnut or three with the lads at the
net loft or maybe with one of his cousins in the saltfish plant’s canteen.
Instead he found himself fending off a flood of questions through the
phone and from the huddle of newspaper and television people

Outside on the grass verge a serious young woman in a thick parka
over a smart city suit presented take after take with the little harbour
and Hvalvík’s pastel-painted houses in the background, as if to make
sure that Reykjavík viewers understood this was a report from outside
their city limits.

Teams from Morgunbladid, DV, Fréttabladid, state TV and radio,
Channel 2, Channel 3, and a few more that Haddi had never heard of
had all demanded information, been told there was no statement yet
and they’d just have to wait. Haddi was putting the phone down from
telling the local paper the same thing when a young man with a mess of
gelled fair hair that appeared to defy both gravity and the breeze outside
pushed his way through the door into the station’s reception area.

‘Yes?’ Haddi asked brusquely, arms folded on the counter.

‘Er. Hi. I’m Skúli Snædal from Dagurinn.’

Haddi rolled his eyes ceilingwards. ‘Look, son, I’ve told all of you
that there’ll be a statement this afternoon. Yes, we have found an
unidentified person. No, I can’t tell you where. No, I can’t tell you
any more than that.’

‘But I’m—’

‘Sorry. That’s all I can say right now.’

‘But that’s not what I’m here for. I’ve come to see Gunnhildur. I’m
shadowing her for a while. For Dagurinn,’ he added.

Haddi took a deep breath ‘So you’re not here because of the body?’

‘No. What body?’

‘Never you mind. The chief’s not here right now, and I don’t
suppose she’ll be back for an hour or two.’

‘Couldn’t you call her up? I’m expected.’

Haddi pulled his glasses down from among his curls and peered over

‘If it was something important, then I could call her up,’ he agreed.
‘But on a day like today, then it would have to be something more
than usually important.’

Skúli tried again. ‘It’s all arranged. I can call the press representative
at police headquarters and confirm with them again.’

‘Sorry. Not now. Look, we have a very serious incident to deal
with, so I’d appreciate it if you’d call Reykjavík and sort it out with
them. We’re a bit busy right now. Hm?’

Haddi’s frown and raised eyebrows made it plain that this was not
a matter for discussion and the young man appeared to concede defeat.

‘All right then. But do you know when she’s going to be back?’

‘Normally, about now. Today . . .’ Haddi shrugged his shoulders.

The young man nodded glumly and made for the door. The look
of disappointment on his face aroused a sudden pang in Haddi’s heart
and he called across as the young man had the door half open.

‘Not from round here, are you?’

‘No. Reykjavík.’

‘D’you know Hafnarkaffi?’

‘What’s that?’

‘It’s the shop down by the dock. It’s getting on for lunchtime and odds
are that’swhere the chief’ll be. But you didn’t hear that fromme, all right?’

The young man grinned in delight. ‘Thanks. That would be great.
How do I recognize her?’

‘Gunna? Can’t miss her. She’s a big fat lass with a face that frightens
the horses.’

Hafnarkaffi stands between the fishmeal plant and Jói Ben’s engineering
shop. Originally a shed used for storing tarred longlines through
the summer, Hafnarkaffi has grown gradually since it was turned into
a drive-in kiosk thirty years ago, then expanded into a shop and had
an extension built to add a small café for harbour workers and
fishermen. The final addition was the petrol pumps outside, but by
now hardly anything of the original corrugated iron shed is to be seen
and the place has become an enduring nightmare for council planners
who have visions of it spreading across the road.

Skúli looked through the steamed-up glass panels of the door and
made out figures sitting at tables. Pushing it open, he ventured in,
thought for a moment and decided that he really was hungry anyway.
At the end of the long counter he collected a tray and pushed it in
front of him, picking up bottled water on the way and stopping before
the row of steaming steel bins.

‘Fish or meat?’ a grey-faced woman behind the counter asked.

‘Er – what do you have?’

‘Fish or meat.’

‘What sort are they?’

‘It’s Tuesday. Salted fish or salted meat.’

Skúli’s heart sank and he began towish he hadn’t botheredwith a tray.

‘Saltfish, please,’ he decided, knowing that he would regret it.

The woman ladled fish and potatoes on to a plate. ‘Fat?’

‘Sorry? What?’

‘D’you want fat on it?’

‘Oh, er, no. Thanks.’

She dropped the spoon back into the dish of liquefied fat and
pointed to a pot. ‘Soup?’

‘Oh, no thanks.’

‘It’s included.’

‘No, thanks anyway.’

‘Up to you. It’s there if you change your mind. Coffee’s included
as well. That’s eight hundred. Receipt?’

Skúli handed over a note and received change and receipt. He
scanned the room and quickly located a bulky figure in uniform at the
far side, hunched over a table. At a distance it wasn’t easy to see if the
figure was man or a woman, but Skúli hoped he had found the right
person. He edged between tables, forcing a row of blue-overalled
workmen to haul in their bellies and chairs for him to pass, before
planting his tray on the table.

‘May I sit here?’

The figure looked up and Skúli saw that, in spite of the broad
shoulders, the solid woman with the short fair hair was not the bruiser
Haddi had given him to expect. Although she would never be a
beauty, she had an angular, handsome face that radiated authority. He
wondered briefly if this was natural, or the product of a police career.

‘Help yourself,’ she said, between spoonfuls of colourless soup.

‘You must be Gunnhildur?’

She nodded, scraping the bottom of the soup plate. ‘Known to
every man and his dog as Gunna the Cop,’ she corrected. ‘And you
must be the lad from Dagurinn. I suppose Haddi told you I’d be here,
did he?’

Skúli picked at the saltfish on the plate in front of him. This kind
of traditional food had never been on the menu at home and he wasn’t
ready for the overpowering salt flavour of the first forkful.

‘So. Now that you’re here, what is it you’re after?’

‘Nothing special, really. The idea is a series of feature articles in the
Saturday magazine about the work of rural police. I’m not looking for
anything out of the ordinary – just the opposite, actually.’

‘Not because of what’s been going on this morning?’

‘No . . .’ Skúli said slowly.

‘So you don’t know,’ she said with slow satisfaction and a broad
smile that lit up her face. ‘Well, you must be the only reporter in
Iceland who hasn’t heard that an unidentified corpse was found just
round the corner this morning. You must be the only one, because
practically every other hack in the country has either turned up here
or else phoned the station to demand a statement. Poor old Haddi’s
been going spare.’

‘Oh. I see.’

Skúli dropped his cutlery and dived into his coat pocket to bring
out a mobile phone. He switched it on and within seconds it was
buzzing angrily with a series of voice and text messages.

‘Shit. I forgot to switch it on when I left this morning, and I didn’t
even have the radio on in the car,’ he admitted. ‘Sorry, I didn’t know

‘Anyway, now that you’re here, I suppose you’d better have a story
to take back with you.’

‘That would be . . . great.’

‘You mean it would save your sorry arse from being fried?’

‘Er, yes, probably.’

‘There’ll be a statement this afternoon, so you can have it half an
hour before it comes out officially. I don’t suppose that’ll do any harm.’

‘Thank you. That’s brilliant.’

‘Right. But you’ll owe me a favour there straight away. How old
are you?’


‘What are you on this paper, then, a junior reporter, or what?’
‘No. I’m the crime editor.’

‘What? There’s a whopping story here and you didn’t even know
about it, Mr Crime Editor?’ Gunna asked with a second sly smile.
Skúli shuffled fish about on his plate. ‘Actually I’ve only been the
crime editor for a week. And that was because someone put the
by-line as a joke on something I wrote about a woman who had been
caught shoplifting from the shopping centre at Kringlan. It stayed in
by mistake, so I’m the new crime editor.’

‘How long have you been working for Dagurinn?’

Skúli was starting to resent Gunna’s quickfire questions, reminding
himself that he should be the one asking. ‘A couple of months.
Dagurinn only started up in January.’

‘What were you doing before that?’

‘I finished my master’s last year and then I was at Jyllands Posten as
an intern for a few months until I came home.’

‘Denmark. Where?’

‘In Århus. How long have you been in the police?’ he asked, trying
to wrench the conversation around so that he could ask the questions.

‘Far too long. And who are your people?’

‘The Snædal family.’

‘Oh. Top people, I see.’

‘My uncle was in the government years ago.’

‘I know. I might even have voted for him.’

‘That’s nice to know. I’ll tell him.’

‘I’m not quite that old,’ Gunna replied coldly. ‘Now, get that down
you and we’ll make a start. I have masses of things to do and if you’re
going to tag along you’ll have to keep up and preferably keep quiet.
All right?’

‘That’s fine,’ Skúli replied, laying down his knife and fork with a
premonition of failure. He realized that, for a reporter, he had asked
no questions and found out almost nothing about the person he was
supposed to be profiling, while she had found out practically
everything about him. ‘We can go, if you want. I don’t really like
saltfish,’ he admitted.

‘Then you won’t grow up to have curly hair. Come on then,’ she
said with a grin, rising to her feet and pulling a phone from her jacket
pocket as it began to chirrup.

‘Hi, sweetheart, just a moment,’ she answered it in a gentle tone.
‘You’d better take your tray back to the counter, and you can take
mine while you’re at it. I’ll see you outside in a minute,’ she instructed
Skúli, marching towards the door with the phone at her ear. Skúli
wondered who she could be addressing as sweetheart.

Customer Reviews

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Frozen Assets (Officer Gunnhilder Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
markpsadler More than 1 year ago
With a great play on words the title of this book takes us to the frigid conditions of Iceland and straight into the economic crisis that is afflicting global industry and banking in the twenty-first century. Big business, corrupt government officials and bankrupt banks are in a head-on collision course; graft is rife and something just a little more sinister surfaces when the first body washes up on the shores of the small fishing village of Hvalvik. Recently widowed rural cop Gunnhildur, pursues the inquiry as a murder, against the better judgment of her commander, until the second body is discovered and a common link is found. Juggling her family and her inept colleagues, Gunnhildur is the force that stands between right and wrong-city mouse vs. country mouse. Put in charge of the task force and expected to fail by her superiors, Gunnhildur turns Reykjavik upside down in an attempt to out-fox the foreign national who has disturbed the peace in the routine life of the gentle fi sherman of her Iceland. Along with juggling a novice journalist assigned to shadow her and reports from an anonymous blogger who seems to complicate matters by accusing the very offi cials she is tagging in her investigation, she sets out to bring peace to the district. In his debut novel Bates gives us an insider's view by exposing us to a world outside of our norm and at the same time shows us the very problems that exist in our country are shared to some degree globally. As the bodies stack up and Gunnhildur finally corners her man, be prepared for the final breath-taking chase that will leave you blinking in wonderment as the cat-and-mouse search boils over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Frozen Assets is a decent police procedural set in Iceland. Its strength is a reasonably decent plot that moves along swiftly. The end surprised me both for what did happen (sorry, no spoilers) and what did not happen (I thought that something that would occur was being set up throughout the book.) The negatives: I like mystery novels (or police procedurals) that are learning experiences. I was hoping to learn more about Icelandic culture and/or the financial crisis that befell Iceland. Contrary to what other reviewers have suggested, I did not think that the novel has a particularly strong sense of place. If I were told that it took place in Sweden or Denmark, it would have read much the same. As far as the financial crisis, the novel was set during that period of time, but that was simply a background event. One learned little about it. A second complaint is that the secondary characters in the novel were very poorly drawn. For example, toward the beginning of the book, two underling officers were described as having distinctively different skills. As the novel progressed, if the author had interchanged the names throughout the rest of the book, there would have been no violation of the original description - both were left faceless. (In fairness, the primary characters were much better drawn.) In sum, I would characterize this as an average book. If good plots are what you are interested in, worth reading. Depth and distinctive character? Look elsewhere.
mlanzotti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frozen Assets is a mystery set in Iceland with Gunna the cop, a woman working in a man's world. When a body is found floating in the harbor,the investigation leads Gunna to the highest leves of government corruption and echos the real life financial crises in Iceland. Great sense of place and a main character to admire. Excellent!
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: Water gurgled between the piles of the dock and the car's tyres juddered over the heavy timbers.It's an open-and-shut case: the young man was drunk, stumbled off the dock late at night, and drowned. But Police Sergeant Gunnhildur wonders why on earth he'd get drunk in Reykjavik and then drive a hundred miles to fall into the harbor in her town and drown? Resources are tight, and although she's advised to stop looking into this death, Gunnhildur is nothing if not stubborn. The further she digs, the more she finds-- and the information and clues are leading all the way to Iceland's business and banking communities.While Gunnhildur and her team investigate, a rookie crime journalist attaches himself to her in an attempt to get a scoop, and everyone in the country is wondering who's dishing all the dirt at When a second murder occurs, Gunnhildur knows she and her team must move even faster to catch a very wily killer.Bates makes the landscape and weather of Iceland a brooding character in Frozen Assets. The economy, which worsens daily, highlights Iceland's precarious situation as a small country with very limited resources.The secondary characters (with the exception of two spoiled rich sisters) are a bit two-dimensional, but the two main characters certainly aren't. The killer is ruthless and very, very smart if a bit arrogant. Having heard Officer Gunnhildur referred to as "the fat policewoman" once, he continues to dismiss her as such-- even when he discovers that she's more than a match for him.Gunna is the single mother of two children. Her thirteen-year-old daughter is still in school while her nineteen-year-old son is working as a deckhand on a fishing boat. The reader knows that she's a bit out of the ordinary right from the start when she insists that the young man's death is not a case of accidental drowning, and then when the case is given to another policeman who wants to pin the death on his favorite suspect. As soon as she sees which way the wind is blowing, she refuses to have any part in it.When Gunna knows she's right, she will not back down, regardless of whose face she has to get into, what she has to say, or how many hours she has to work. She's good at thinking on her feet, and she does an excellent job of running the investigation and keeping everyone focused and looking in the right directions. The best part of this book was watching the battle of wits between Gunna and the killer.If there was any one thing that disappointed me in reading this book, it was that I found the tone to be curiously dispassionate. I found it difficult to become fully engaged in the story. That is a minor quibble however, as there is plenty to like in Frozen Assets. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Officer Gunnhildur, and I won't have to wait long. The second book in the series, Cold Comfort, just became available.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's hard to believe this is the author's first novel. It's a good book, not great, but still a well-paced and interesting crime fiction read. In short, I liked it, didn't love it, and chalk my feelings up to this book being a series first novel, which is often where the author is just getting it together. Frozen Assets is both the author's first novel and the first entry of a new series featuring Gunnhildur Gisládottir of the Hvalvik police in Iceland. Gunna is in her mid-thirties, a widowed mother of two, and used to dealing with small town crimes like speeding and the occasional uncooperative drunk. But things change when the body of a drunken stranger is discovered floating in the water of a small boat dock with no ID except an odd tattoo. In trying to identify the dead man, her investigation leads her to a company called Spearpoint, a PR firm headquartered in Reykjavik which just incidentally happens to have an interest in a development project in Hvalvik. The inquiries remain pretty routine until one of the staff at Spearpoint reveals to Gunna that some time back, a friend of the dead man had been killed in a car accident. Gunna begins to wonder if there is a link between the two deaths, and the investigation takes off from there, with Gunna setting her sights on catching a killer and not letting up until the job is done. But wait...there's much more. Interwoven into the main story are entries from an anonymous and elusive "Skandalblogger," a muckraker who seems to have his or her finger on the pulse of what's happening in government circles and in the private lives of connected others, such as the owner of Spearpoint, Sigurjóna Huldudottír and her randy sister, two of the blogger's favorite targets. The blogger's mission is to expose high-level government corruption and personal greed that affects the average tax-paying citizen, while simultaneously spilling personal secrets that embarrass and enrage the already high-maintenance Sigurjóna, who wants the Skandalblogger's head on a platter. As things heat up, the author also builds on the environment and Iceland's banking crisis of 2008 to add another dimension to the story. All of the various threads are eventually linked together, with enough of a hint of a series yet to be at the end.Considering that this is the author's first novel, Gunna's character is quite well developed. She's down to earth, common sensical and follows her nose, despite unwanted interruptions from superiors. She's to the point, often brash in her role as cop, but at the same time, the reader senses some vulnerabilities within her on a personal level. And she's not a stick-figure gorgeous detective like so many authors insist on having as a main character but more on the bigger side, and is often referred to as the fat cop or even once "a big fat lass with a face that frightens the horses." It is downright refreshing to have a strong female lead character who isn't too overly concerned with her love life or lack of one, who is built like a real person and in her mid-30s and one who speaks her mind and follows her instincts and her nose. The author also does a great job with the people you come to dislike in the novel as well -- Sigurjóna, the histrionic owner of Spearpoint whose employees cringe when anything goes wrong knowing they're going to hear about it; the bad guy who has a personality as cold as glacial ice, government officials who don't care about the average citizen, and others as well. Gunna's co-workers don't fare so well in the characterization department, but again, I think this will come with time. You won't find any romance or silliness here (yay) but what you will find is an intriguing story that is well paced, with a sense of place that adds to the overall atmosphere of the story. It's definitely not in cozy league, but it's not quite as edgy or dark as an Indridason novel. What you get is something a bit lighter in overall tone that picks up as the story move
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good mystery read and political thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LordVader More than 1 year ago
Well worth the money and time spent, especially if you want a feel for what Icelanders and Iceland is like without going to the amazing expense of traveling there, finding a job, and spending 10 years on the ground.
Loyzee More than 1 year ago
Not as good as previous books by Quentin bates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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