Night Shadows is the third novel in the FORBIDDEN ICELAND series
The Icelandic Police team of criminal investigators include:
Hörður Höskuldsson – leader of the Akranes Criminal Investigation Division. With many local connections, he is in charge of the entire Western Region of Iceland. Hörður often cycles to work and is not famous for his punctuality. He is grieving. His beloved wife recently lost her battle with cancer. Thinking work would distract him, he returned too soon and is now struggling to cope emotionally.
Elma Jónsdóttir – Recently returned to her home town of Akranes after her partner of nine years took his own life. She worked in Reykjavik in the CID and now joins the Akranes team. Just thirty-three years old, she is introverted, ,work-obsessed, impetuous and empathetic. Elma is a brilliant investigator. Elma had an affair with her neighbour, but now she is in a fledgling relationship with her partner at work, Sævar. She has just found out that she is pregnant…
Sævar – A detective on the CID and Elma’s work partner. Sævar has just ended a long relationship.
Begga – verbose, single, and mother to an orange tabby cat, Begga is Elma’s only female friend.
Elma’s latest case involves an arson in which a young man named Marinó Finnsson perished. The investigation becomes complicated when another body is discovered on the property…
Having enjoyed the first two books in the Forbidden Iceland series, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this, the third novel in this Icelandic Noir series.
This murder mystery was brilliantly plotted. The group of five friends all in their early twenties were in the frame, yet the murder victim’s father was a venture capitalist with more than a few enemies. Suspicions abounded.
Families are such complex units. What might appear near perfect to an outsider, can hide rot and dysfunction within the walls of the family home. Nothing is quite what it seems.
As with many of my favourite police procedural crime novels, this series gives equal emphasis on the crime case itself and the personal lives of the protagonists.
The Icelandic setting is vividly rendered. Though I have never had the opportunity to visit Iceland, I could picture the unique landscapes clearly in my mind.
The murder investigation was a slow burn. Multi-layered, it exposed toxic familial relationships, adultery, and misplaced allegiances.
The writing is skillful and the translation impeccable. You can read this book as a standalone novel, but I recommend you read the series in order to fully appreciate the gradual development of the recurring characters. I have found the Forbidden Iceland series to have a consistent quality throughout its three novels and I’m eager to read the next one.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Orenda Books via Anne Cater and Random Things Tours.
ISBN:9781914585203 — ASIN: B0B3F81B4V— 276 pages
Born in Akranes, Iceland in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel.
Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.
Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller.
Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.
About the Translator
Victoria Cribb studied and worked in Iceland for many years. She has translated more than 25 novels from the Icelandic and, in 2017, she received the Orðstír honourary translation award for services to Icelandic literature.