NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Bernard Scudder (Translator), Anna Yates (Translator)

4.0 out of 5 stars -- A chilling and absorbing read -- Nordic noir.

The second book in this series featuring the lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir and her lover, Matthew Reich, is just as absorbing and interesting as the first. The setting is modern day Iceland, almost a character in itself, with its uniqueness and history. In this mystery, Thora is asked to represent the owner of a New Age spa and resort who wants to sue the previous owners who he claims misrepresented the old farmstead and sold him a haunted property. Although Thora doesn't hold with the supernatural, she goes to stay at the health resort in Snaefellsnes and is immediately drawn into an different sort of investigation there when the owner, Jonas, is accused of the murder of the architect who was working for him after her mutilated body is found on the beach nearby. As Thora starts digging into the case, she unearths some photos and information about the brothers, their wives and children who had lived on and owned the farmstead property many years ago. Then a second person is murdered. Thora and Matthew must figure out why these two were killed and who committed the crimes.

With a huge cast of characters and with the Icelandic names, it can be a feat just to keep everyone straight! But alternate point of view narration provides some clues that there is much more going on here than first thought. The mystery is well-plotted and complex with mutiple red herrings and I was glad not to be able to be sure that my guesses were correct until the final few chapters. I like the personality and character of Thóra Gudmundsdóttir -- divorced mother of two, about to be a grandmother. She's snarky and intense, definitely not damaged, and has a good sense of humor. I enjoy all the details about Iceland and its culture and landscape. I like the writing style and the translation flows nicely as well.

This is the third book by this author that I've read (#1, #2 and #5) and I have plans to read #3 and #4 as soon as I can get hold of copies. I really like this series. I guess you could say I'm hooked on crime fiction and the unusual setting.

Please send me any recommendations of other authors/series of this type and unique settings. 

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