Anna Bella Nor is just two weeks away from revealing her controversial research on the evolutionary origin of birds when her supervisor Lars Helland is found dead . . . his tongue and a copy of her thesis in his lap.
As the police investigate the most brutal and calculated case they've ever known, Anna remains convinced someone is trying to stop her research coming to light. She must fight to prove her innocence . . . and fight for her life.
With a dissertation defense looming, an adversarial adviser, not to mention a needy toddler, University of Copenhagen biology grad student and single mom Anna Bella Nor seems perpetually one sippy cup away from exploding and that's before a coworker's bizarre death puts her whole department under the microscope, in Gazan's brainy thriller. Beneath the veneer of collegiality, police superintendent S ren Marhauge swiftly discovers, lies a Darwinian struggle for professional survival as well as a cesspool of passions that are anything but academic. As the brash Anna dabbles in some increasingly dangerous sleuthing of her own, Gazan herself a University of Copenhagen biology grad orchestrates the suspenseful action and overlapping lives of her complex characters with deceptive ease. Just as impressively, she manages to integrate Anna's superficially arcane research on whether birds descended from dinosaurs with the novel's moving exploration of such broader themes as parenthood, love, and the potentially poisonous results of living with lies.
wow, surpisingly gripping
unusual characters and plot