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Published by Corvus, 7 January 2016. Kindle
Michael Ridpath has
written four books set in Iceland featuring
Sergeant Magnus (Jonson) Ragnarsson.It was with delight that I discovered that
his latest book The Polar Bear Killing
features Detective Vigdίs Audardtt who has assisted Magnus in his recent
investigations. Vigdίs is an interesting character, single but weighed down
with the responsibility of trying to keep her alcoholic mother Audur off the
booze.Followinga physical altercation with her boyfriend,
Audur is now in prison for two months.
So Vigdίs is travelling from Reykjavίk to Raufarhofn in the
north –east of the country to assist in the investigation into the murder of a
local policeman. She reports to
Inspector Olafur who greets her with the words ‘Wasted your time, Vigdίs’.
It appears that Olafur has arrested two animal-rights
activists, Alex Einarsson, and Martin Fiedle, a German citizen, who while
protesting their innocence of the shooting of Constable Halldόr state that ‘he
deserved to die for shooting a polar bear’.The community is divided between
those who hail Halldόr as a hero for shooting an animal who could be dangerous,
and those who believe the bear should be protected.
Vigdίs is surprised to find that although Olafur has
arrested the two animal-rights activists, he has no evidence but is quite
complacent it must be the foreigners.As
the interrogation progresses Vigdίs becomes less and less certain that these
are the killers. So Vigdίs, against
Olafur wishes starts to delve more deeply into the case. She talks with Halldόr’s
daughter Gudrύn who was angry with her father for shooting the bear.When she interviews old farmer Egill, he
says’ well, well, a blue policeman’.Vigdίs is Iceland’s only black cop, but to the Icelanders ‘blue’ As with
all Michaels books whether they be his financial thrillers which number eight,
or his WW2 series I always learn new things.
Away from home, and lonely Vigdίs acts foolishly, and is
pleased to see Magnus when he arrives unexpectedly. Together they work the case
to uncover the killer, but will all be well for Vigdίs?
A most enjoyable whodunit in an
interesting and atmospheric setting. Although a short novel, only 68 pages, the story moves
along a good pace, and I was pleased to see development in Vigdίs
character.I look forward to the next instalment
in this series.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
Michael Ridpath was born in Devon in 1961, but brought up in Yorkshire. He
was educated at Millfield, Merton College, Oxford.
Before becoming a writer, Michael Ridpath used to work in the City of London as a bond
trader. He has written eight thrillers set in the worlds of business and
finance, but is now trying his hand at something slightly different. Where
The Shadows Lie, the first in the Fire and Ice series featuring an
Icelandic detective named Magnus Jonson, was published in 2010. He has
published two further books in the series. He now lives in North