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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

‘Meltwater’ by Michael Ridpath

Published by Corvus,
14th June 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-85789-644-5

Erika, Dieter, Apex and Nico are a group of activists committed to the freedom of information. They call themselves FreeFlow.  When a piece of footage comes into their hands providing evidence of a military murder in the Middle East, they are determined to tell the world.  But first they must validate it absolutely, and prepare their release to the world’s media.  They settle on Iceland as a meeting place as Erika and Nico had visited previously, and they know that they have followers there who will help their cause. 

Having set up their action HQ, to cement their cover they act as tourists visiting the erupting volcano Eyjafjallajokull. Awed by the sight of the eruption melting the ice in the glacier they christen their operation Meltwater.  But whilst splitting up to seek closer views of the amazing sight of the volcano, one of them is murdered.

Investigating the murder is Detective Sergeant Magnus Jonson, seconded from the Boston Police Department, following a request from the National Police Commissioner of Iceland who had become concerned about big-city crime reaching Iceland and wanted a Police Detective who had practical experience to give teaching courses at the Icelandic National Police College on crime in the USA. Magnus Jonson was the natural choice, although having lived in the USA since he was twelve Magnus was born in Iceland and can speak Icelandic.

Magnus also has his own reasons for wanting to return to Iceland, to uncover the mystery of the feud that has existed within his family for three generations, and to find his father’s killer.

As FreeFlow have antagonized many people, the list of suspects is a long one, consisting of governments, politicians and bankers from many countries. But Magnus finds FreeFlow secretive and unhelpful, even when it is clear that someone will kill to keep them quiet.

The book is rich on many levels - an international thriller, the incredible descriptions of Iceland and it’s culture, the secrets of the past, the veils of which are tantalising lifted a little at a time in each book as the series progresses, and all told by a gifted story-teller. Highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes

Michael Ridpath is the author of eleven books.  Born in Devon, he grew up in Yorkshire and was educated in Somerset and Merton College Oxford. His early career was as a credit analysist and later a bond trader. Subsequently he joined a venture capital firm.  During this latter period he wrote his first novel Free to Trade. After publication of this first book he went on to write seven further thrillers set in the world of business and finance, but his last three books have been set in Iceland. Where Shadows Lies, 66° North, and the latest in the series Meltwater. For more information about Michael visit his web site

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