Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ashes to Dust-Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Ashes to Dust

Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Minotaur, Mar 27 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780312641740

In 1973, a volcano erupts on Iceland’s Heimaey Island. A village is buried under the lava. Included under the sea of ash is the family home of teenager Markus Magnusson.

In 2007, investors send a cleanup crew to excavate the site so it can become a tourist attraction. However, in the basement of the Magnusson home is found three relatively fresh corpses and a severed head. The Westmann Islands near retired Inspector Lieffson suspect Markus, who retained attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir to prevent the digging. The villagers offer little to repute the police assertion and the one person he claims who could vindicate him is dead. Digging for a viable alternative to her client, Thora defends Markus though she is convinced she represents a killer.

The third Thora Gudmundsdottir Icelandic legal thriller (see Last Rituals and My Soul To Take) is a great tale that uses the island nation’s geography and history to anchor a fabulous present day murder mystery. The storyline is fast-paced with a deft investigation that leads to betrayal and secrets in a great setting. This series is a refreshing winner.

Harriet Klausner

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