I know that this is not everyone’s favourite month, with gloomier weather and the sudden darkness that falls so early now that we’ve changed the clocks back, but I quite like November, with its sinister-looking bare tree branches in sharp contrast to the lightness of the sky, the browns, greys and fading greens of the landscape and the crunchiness of the leaves and twigs on the ground. And it also marks the beginning of the best time to curl up with a steaming cup of chai and a good book!
I’ve been sick recently, and just realized that I completely forgot to write a post last weekend, so I’m catching up now. I had a book fair this past week at school and stayed late three nights, so I haven’t finished my book for this week yet, but I did finish one last weekend, Reykjavík by Ragnar Jónasson and Katrín Jacobsdóttir. This is the latest crime novel by this Icelandic author, and it’s co-written by the Prime Minister of Iceland, which I think is pretty cool. (Maybe Justin Trudeau should co-write a mystery with Linwood Barclay or Robert Rotenberg!!) In 1956, fifteen-year-old Lára takes a summer job keeping house for a wealthy couple on the small island of Videy, but one weekend near the end of summer, she goes missing and is never found. The main detective continues to revisit the case every ten years or so, but by 1986, it remains unsolved until a young reporter, Valur Róbertsson, runs a series of articles in the local paper about Lára, hoping to uncover new leads. When he’s contacted by an anonymous caller who provides cryptic clues regarding the whereabouts of Lára’s body, Valur begins to feel hopeful that this case may finally be solved. But when tragedy strikes, someone must step in to take up this new investigation and follow the clues, wherever they may lead, in order to solve this mystery and finally lay Lára to rest. This was certainly a page-turner, one of only a couple of Icelandic mysteries I’ve read, and I just read that it was based on a real unsolved case. It was especially interesting because it was set in the 1980s, before Iceland became a popular travel destination and before Icelandic thrillers also became popular. There were no cell phones or internet searches, just a basic investigation by a reporter/amateur detective, which was fun for this reader who grew up in that era. It was also inspired by Agatha Christie mysteries, as Jónasson also works as a translator of her books. It was a fun, gripping page-turner, not especially creepy or scary, but interesting and sure to keep you guessing until the final “big reveal”.
That’s all for today. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!Bye for now…