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Published by Constable, 3 March 2016. ISBN:978-1-47212-150-9
I am a great fan of Quentin Bates and his protagonist,
Sergeant Gunnhildur "Gunna"
Without wishing to sound as
though I'm setting myself up as some kind of crime-fiction guru (there are many
others far more fitted for this role than I am) I have followed his career up
the crime-writing ladder with a great deal of interest.
In Thin Ice, he has produced a humorous and very well-plotted
story.Two minor crooks rob drug-dealer
Alli the Cornershop and then find that their get-away driver has failed to
appear.What to do?Obviously to hijack a nearby car and take off
for points north.It's unfortunate that
along with the car come two women: the driver, Erna, and her wild-child
daughter, Tinna Lund.The mismatched
four end up in a closed and shuttered hotel, amid (as so often in a novel set
in Iceland) freezing temperatures and falling snow.
Both crooks know that Alli the Cornershop will not
rest until he gets his money back and will be trying to find them, just as
Gunna and her team are trying to locate the whereabouts of Erna and Tinna
Lund.Össur, the dim mastermind behind
this doomed enterprise, spends his time smoking pot andtrying to work out the best way to proceed
from here, if necessary abandoning or even disposing of the women.His co-crook, Magni, on the other hand, is
the king-pin that holds the situation all together.I don't know if this was Bates' intention,
but Magni is a terrific character, and I hope we'll see more of him and his
misadventures in future books
Gunna, meanwhile, is dealing with her complicated
personal life at the same time as trying to handle the other cases piling up on
her desk, including a fatal arson attack and the missing women.
I loved this knife-edgedly terrifying yet sometimes
poignantly humorous book.
Reviewer: Susan Moody
Quentin Batesis an English novelist of
mystery/crime fiction novels. Quentin found himself working in Iceland
for a year, which turned into a decade, and has used some of that experience as
well as a university writing course to develop his Gunnhildur series. Although
he is British, Quentin is more in line with Scandinavian crime fiction authors.
Quentin is also a full-time journalist and feature writer for an obscure
nautical trade magazine.
Susan Moodywas born and brought up in Oxford. She has published over 30 crime
and suspense novels, including the Penny Wanawake series and the Cassandra
Swann bridge series. She is a past Chairman of the British Crime Writers'
Association, a member of the Detection Club, a past Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania and a past President of the
International Association of Crime Writers. She divides her time between
south-west France and
Nominated for the CWA short story award. Nominated for the RNA's