Published by Michael Joseph – Available Now
Just before Christmas a blizzard sweeps across Iceland. In their remote farmhouse, Erla and Einar are hunkering down for the night – when there’s a knock at the door.
It’s a stranger, desperate for shelter. They take him in – but they’ll wish they hadn’t because this man is not who he says he is. And, when the power cuts out, it’s the beginning of a terrifying ordeal.
Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir – recovering from a family tragedy – is called to an isolated farmhouse and a haunting mystery . . .
As suspense thrillers go this is pretty darn good. When a stranger knocks on the door of an isolated farmhouse in the desolated countryside of eastern Iceland you just know nothing good is going to come from it. It is the night before Christmas Eve when the stranger comes knocking as husband and wife Einar and Erla are preparing for the festive season. But with the arrival of the strange man comes some strange happenings, first the phone line is cut quickly followed by a power cut leading to a tense and charged atmosphere. Erla’s suspicions are raised from the off and you do get a sense all isn’t quite as it seems with her too. The house holds some kind of secret, it is seems somewhat unsettled and unhappy, Erla herself is not wholly happy with her surroundings but as it is her husband’s birthright she seems resigned to a lonely existence.
The other strand to the story focuses on police investigator Hulda who has recently suffered a family tragedy, you don’t know what this is until the story fully develops but she has thrown herself into work to try and bury the pain of her home life. She is sent to investigate a gruesome discovery out in eastern Iceland, needless to say not everyone has survived the festive period in the desolate farmhouse but there are plenty of shocks along the way.
I really enjoyed the plot of this story, it is tense and gripping and set against the backdrop of the snow filled Icelandic countryside the feeling of desolation is palpable. The feeling of desolation and the knowing that no one is close at hand to help builds the tension superbly, you know there is so much more to this story than meets the eye but you just don’t quite grasp what that is until everything starts to unfold.
If you like tense thrillers then this book, and the others in the series, will be right up your street. Be prepared to get hooked on the story, it is a terrific page turner that is chilling and dark right until the very end.