In Bitter Chill (Sarah Ward, 2015)

in bitter chill

Why did you choose this book?

I read a synopsis and was intrigued.  I’ve been in the mood to read a lot of thrillers and mysteries lately, though I’ve tried to temper that in order to be a more well-rounded librarian.

What’s it about?

There are a couple of stories here.  In 1978, Sophie and Rachel were abducted on their way to school.  Later in the day, Rachel was found wandering with no memory of where she had been.  Sophie was never found.  Parts of the story are told from Rachel’s perspective during this time.  Flash forward to the present.  Sophie’s mother has committed suicide and one of the teachers from the girls’ school is found in the woods and has been strangled twice (once with hands, once with a garrote).  This brings Sophie’s case back to the fore.  This part of the story is told from either Rachel’s perspective, or that of the inspector in charge of the investigation.

Categories?

Suspense or mystery – it’s kind of a fine line here.

Other recommended reads?

Anything by Mary Higgins Clark

Review?

Sometimes I found the pace a bit slow, but I thought the story was compelling, the cover art was beautiful, and I didn’t figure out what happened to Sophie before the characters did (which to me is always a sign of a mystery or suspense novel well-plotted).

Up next?

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

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Reykjavik Nights (Arnaldur Indridason, 2015)

reykjavik nights

Why did you choose this book?

I honestly don’t remember, but it sounded like an intriguing suspense novel.  Since it was touted as the prequel to the series, it seemed like a good place to start.

What’s it about?

Inspector Erlendur is new to the police force and working the night shift.  One night, a homeless man named Hannibal (who Erlendur has become acquainted with) is found drowned.  It is assumed to be nothing more than an accident, probably occurring when Hannibal was drunk.  But Erlendur feels like something isn’t right, and begins to investigate.  Years ago, a woman went missing in the same area.  Could the two cases be linked?

Categories?

Mystery, suspense?, Icelandic fiction

Other recommended reads?

In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward, Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Review

This book was a very fast read.  I enjoyed it, but at the same time I feel like some of the linguistic flow was lost in translation.  I was also distracted by my complete and total inability to pronounce Icelandic names and place names.  To me this novel was billed as suspense, but since Erlendur was never in danger of bodily harm, I would call it a mystery instead.

Up next?

Cooking as Fast as I Can by Cat Cora