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Similar in plot to Swedish author Helene Tursten's The Glass Devil, this first in a new series from Icelandic author Sigurdardottir offers little readers have not seen before. As with Tursten's novel, the spectre of demon-worship is at the heart of the mystery, after the strangled corpse of Harald Guntlieb is discovered with his eyes gouged out. Guntlieb, a German student, was attending graduate school in Iceland, examining the latter country's history of witch-hunting, an academic pursuit that may have taken on more personal overtones. His grieving parents, who had already suffered the loss of a child, enlist attorney and single mother Thóra Gudmundsdôttir to objectively assess the police case against a drug addict arrested for the murder. Aided by an attractive ex-German police officer, Gudmundsdôttir diligently tracks down the dead man's friends and colleagues, before arriving at the truth. The author gives less of a sense of her native land than other contemporary Scandinavian crime writers like Karin Fossum, and the identity of the killer will surprise few.
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I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa's work. It's very engaging, fresh and exciting. -- James Patterson A grisly chiller set in the depths of winter ... Her mystery is absorbing and, untypically, instead of the usual gloomy middle-aged man, her sleuth is a young woman ... It's an accomplished debut, with credible characters and a personable heroine. Sunday Telegraph Dark, deep and icy as an Icelandic fjord; this is a rich and rewarding debut novel of ancient mysteries and very modern murder. -- Mark Billingham An intricately plotted tale that keeps the reader guessing whodunit, or indeed whether it was murder at all, right until the very end. Sunday Express --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description