Friday, March 8, 2013

The Day Is Dark-Yrsa Sigurdardottir; Philip Roughton (translator)

The Day Is Dark

Yrsa Sigurdardottir; Philip Roughton (translator)

Minotaur, Feb 26 2013, $15.99

ISBN: 9781250029409

Kaupthing Bank head of security Matthew Reich hires his lover Reykjavik lawyer Thora Gudmunstdottir to assist him in investigating occurrences at a mining camp in the Greenland tundra though to escape her adult children and grandchild she planned on the Caribbean. Accompanying Matthew and Thora on her trek to the frozen island is her dreadful office secretary Bella and scientists.

The geologists and support personnel disappeared and are presumed dead; no one else wants to work at a place considered haunted by the malevolent Tupilak; as besides the current vanishing, Danish colonists also disappeared without a trace in 1918. Thora is to learn what happened to the present day missing crew. The local Inuit population resent the latest visitors as outsiders have polluted their formerly pristine land. Thora looks closely at the Inuit struggling between a heritage that is teetering on the brink of generational extinction and the intrusion of modernization; symbolized by Igmaq the hunter, whose son prefers modern day beer and his favorite husky like him becoming too old to remain the leader of the pack.

The latest Thora Gudmundsdottir tale (see Ashes to Dust, Last Rituals and My Soul To Take) is a fabulous chilling (literally and figuratively) thunder on the tundra thriller. The leisurely–paced storyline looks close at the war between cultural tradition and unique modernizing assimilation. Although having an Icelandic grandmotherly lawyer on the investigative team and an incompetent legal secretary (brought along for comic relief) seem unlikely, fans will enjoy this engaging thought-provoking mystery.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: