Great Nordic Thriller
- Book: Frozen Out (1)
- Location: Iceland
- Author: Quentin Bates
Frozen Out’ is the first in a new police procedure thriller series. Set in Iceland in 2008, just as the financial meltdown begins, it features Sergeant Gunnhildur (or Gunna for short).
Gunna is not young, slight and beautiful – she’s a ‘big girl’, gruff, down-to-earth and with the habit of calling her colleagues ‘lad’. However, she is a really realistic and likeable character, with a past and baggage. The author has given us snippets of her past, but not everything. She’s a young widow – her husband died in an accident – but we don’t know the details. She has two children and there is a mysterious love interest floating around in the background too.
The story starts when a body is washed up on Gunna’s patch, at first it seems as though this was an accidental death, after all the guy’s blood was almost 100% alcohol, but it soon becomes clear that there are links to the Government, to insider wheeling and dealing and corruption on all levels.
The story is also interspersed with articles written by someone known as ‘Skandalblogger’ – revealing dark secrets about the rich and famous, and upsetting people at the highest levels with every article.
Although the author is British, he spent a lot of time living in Iceland and this is clear from the descriptions, not just of the countryside but also the quirks of the Icelandic people are perfectly portrayed. I did have some difficulty with the very long and very strange character and place names, but they soon became familiar and this spoilt nothing of what is a fast-paced and exciting thriller.
With lots of insight into the corruption within the Government and the financial sector – yet in a very understandable and accessible way, a great plot, a fabulous new heroine – this is the first instalment in what I hope will continue to be a great police detective series.