Monday, December 7, 2015
Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Bascially, the book follows Thóra Guðmundsdóttir, an attorney who is suddenly brought into a murder case by the victim's family, who isn't sure that the man the police arrested is the actual murderer. She basically works with a German called Matthew Reich, and they are some sort of awkwardly flirting via insults duo who try to solve the case. Plus, some stuff about her kids (she's a single mom) happen as well.
The biggest draw of this book was the setting and the circumstances involving the murder. It's the first time I've read a mystery from an Icelandic author, and this book does make me want to read more. It sounds like a place where a lot of fascinating mysteries can be set.
As for the murder, it involves the witch hunts that occurred a long time ago. It's not a period or an event that I have much familiarity with, so I don't know whether the information is correct, but I found it fascinating. I think most of my attention was focused on the different sites and the history behind the book, rather than the mystery itself.
Now on to the mystery itself. Sadly, it was only average. Thora and Matthew sort of work independently, but they don't really seem to progress much. The whole key to the case came through a chance observation, which seemed to make all the previous work for naught (although it could be said that the groundwork helped in the deduction). Perhaps it's because I found the 'key evidence' that cracked the case to be a bit too coincidental, and I didn't remember it being brought up earlier (it might have, but nothing indicated it was an important clue).
Overall, this is a decent mystery. I enjoyed the setting and the history involved in the case. While I was a little disappointed in the denouement, the mystery was, overall, decent.