The spellbinding debut and international sensation being published in thirty countries featuring Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, a smart, sexy lawyer and investigator whose hunt for a modern murderer points to a very odd—and evil—chapter in Iceland's past
After the body of a young German student—with his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest—is discovered at a university in Reykjavík, the police waste no time in making an arrest. The victim's family isn't convinced they have the right man, however, so they ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. The fee is considerable—more than enough to make things a bit easier for the struggling lawyer and her children.
It's not long before Thóra and Matthew Reich, her new associate, discover something unusual about the deceased student: He had been obsessed with the country's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts—a topic made all the more peculiar by the fact that unlike witch hunts in other countries, those in Iceland had targeted men . . . not women.
As Thóra and Matthew dig deeper, they make the connection between long-bygone customs and the student's murder. But the shadow of dark traditions conceals secrets in both the past and the present, and the investigators soon realize that nothing is as it seems . . . and that no one can be trusted.
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Yrsa SigurdardÓttir is an award-winning author of five children's novels and a division manager with one of Iceland's largest engineering firms. She lives with her family in Reykjavík, Iceland.From Publishers Weekly:
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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