New Books Reviewed:
Genre: mystery, crime thriller
I was delighted to receive this mystery novel from Bitter Lemon Press as I have enjoyed reading other Icelandic thrillers.
The book features Kalmann Odinsson, 34, the narrator, who lives in the tiny village of Raufarhofn in north Iceland.
The publisher describes Kalmann as "neurodiverse." Kalmann says the townspeople see him as someone who thinks backwards or as not progressing past age six. But he is liked and humored as he describes himself the protector and Sheriff of Raufarhofn, dressing in a cowboy hat, a sheriff's badge, and a defunct Mauser pistol, a gift from his American father, whom he doesn't know.
An avid shark hunter, Kalmann has life skills taught him by his grandfather, who is now in a home for dementia patients.
The mystery begins when Kalmann discovers a large pool of fresh blood in the snowy hills at the same time as the richest man in the town goes missing. A patient and understanding female police officer from the city interacts with Kalmann to investigate the mystery, with a surprise for the reader at the end.
Well plotted, suspenseful, with distinct and memorable characterization and setting, I find Kalmann another excellent Icelandic crime novel.
Publication June 14, 2022, Berkley. Source: NetGalley.
Genre: romantic comedy
This is the story of two 12-year-olds who became friends at summer camp only to suddenly discover they had the same father. Kat never answered Blake's letters after camp and after this revelation, but both girls grew up knowing they were half-sisters, forced to meet about 15 years later when they jointly inherit a beach house from their father.
The plot showing how they dealt with this situation, both sisters needing the money that a sale of the house would bring, is quite a good one. The complications of having to fix up the house themselves to realize a good price for it is a clever twist that carries the plot to the next level. Add to that the new love interests, the beach setting, their different home lives, and the novel becomes a very enjoyable read, though with a somewhat predictable ending.
What are you reading this week?