"I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa's work. It's very engaging, fresh, and exciting." -- James Patterson
"Iceland's crime queen." --The Scotsman
One of the finest Nordic crime writers working today, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir has been published to rave reviews worldwide. Now, with Ashes to Dust, she delivers a dynamite and timely thriller set at the site of a volcano.
In 1973, a volcanic eruption buried an entire Icelandic village in lava and ash. Now, hoping to make some cash, a crew is assembled to excavate the site and turn it into a tourist destination. Markús, who was a teenager when the volcano erupted, enlists the help of attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to try to prevent the excavation from going forward.
When the digging continues and three fresh bodies (and a spare head) turn up in the basement of Markús' childhood home, Thóra begins to question Markús' motives for wanting to stop the excavation. His explanation for the bodies is complicated, and the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up. As Markús' story begins to unravel, Thóra finds herself with an impossible task, defending Markús while trying to solve a quadruple murder that may very well implicate her client.
With unforgettable characters, unexpected twists, and superb psychological suspense, Ashes to Dust is a riveting thriller from a new international star.
Sigurdard ttir's excellent third thriller featuring lawyer Th ra Gudmundsd ttir should win this talented Icelandic author new fans. In 1973, a volcanic eruption on Iceland's Heimaey Island buried a number of houses in lava, including that of Mark s Magnusson, who was 15 at the time. In 2007, an excavation of his childhood home reveals three bodies and a severed head that appear to be decades old. Mark s tells the police he knows nothing about the bodies, but the single person who could have verified his version of events is found dead, her apparent suicide soon revealed as murder. With the searchlight of suspicion cast on his affairs, Mark s must rely on Th ra, his determined lawyer, to defend his interests. Siggurdard ttir uses Iceland's past and present to full effect in this tale of hidden crimes and family secrets. Even those unfamiliar with this volcanic island nation will find themselves entranced.
It's nice to have Iceland as the background for a crime story, especially a book that uses a real event as part of the plot (disastrous volcanic eruption on Westman Island in 1973). The person doing the detective work is an attorney, which gives you a little insight into what an Icelandic lawyer can and cannot do. I think the characters are not always developed realistically, however. The author is good but not the new Ake Edwardson--my favorite Icelandic author. Also, too many twists and turns that make the ending a little silly.
I loved her style of writing and how the story played out. Very good read!