(Novel translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb)
Reviewed by Theodore Feit
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, was occupied by British troops even if that country was neutral in World War II, and in the months before Pearl Harbor, U.S. Troops relieved the Tommies [as they were called] so they could return home and face the possible Nazi invasion. Iceland, of course, was a prominent way station for naval shipping across the Atlantic, with U-boat activity quite active. In the midst of this activity, a man is found murdered, shot in the head by a weapon commonly used by American troops.
The investigation is undertaken by Flovent, the only detective with the Icelandic CID. He enlists the help of a U.S. military policeman by the name of Thorston. Together they center their attention on a family of German extraction, a paralyzed doctor, his son and his brother-in-law, the headmaster of a school, as well as the doctor’s brother who lives in Germany. The victim remains unidentified, while initially believed to be the resident of the apartment, when it turns out he was a boyhood friend of the resident, the doctor’s son, who is in hiding and becomes the focus of a hunt.
Various subplots complicate the story as Flovent and Thorston delve into possible leads, including any possible role of U.S. Intelligence and a possible visit to the island by Winston Churchill. The sharp prose and excellent translation enhance this second novel in the series. Mr. Indridason continues to provide us with top-notch thrillers, and we look forward to his next effort.
The novel is highly recommended.