When the editors at Reykjavik-based The Afternoon News decide to expand the newspaper into northern Iceland—with their crime writer Einar as its sole reporter on location—the journalist feels as though he has stepped back in time. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the capital, where the nation’s economic and social crises rear their heads on a daily basis, the small town of Akureyri feels slow, quiet, and terribly old-fashioned.
So it’s only fitting that one of Einar’s first assignments is to cover a college theater production of Loftur the Sorcerer, an Icelandic folktale of ambition and greed. But that supposedly ancient history becomes ominously relevant when a local woman dies after falling overboard during a corporate boating retreat. All evidence indicates an accident, but when the victim’s mother cries foul play, kindhearted Einar agrees to investigate. Just days later, the lead actor in Loftur vanishes, leaving the locals reeling—and Einar unconvinced that a single village could be so accident prone. Keenly perceptive and hungry for the truth, Einar begins to chip away at the quaint small-town facade, uncovering a tangled web of power and greed that threatens to devour the historic community for good.