Thursday 11 October 2018

Cold Breath by Quentin Bates @graskeggur Blog Tour @Emily_BookPR #ColdBreath #Gunnhildur

Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .
Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together - too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man's past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience - or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.
Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

Cold Breath by Quentin Bates is published today (11 October 2018) in paperback by Constable and is the seventh book in the Officer Gunnhildur series. My thanks to Emily Burns who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in the Blog Tour

I've been reading and reviewing Quentin Bates' Gunnhildur series from day one, this was my first foray into Icelandic crime novels and I was hooked from book one. It seems such a long time since we've heard anything from Bates and Gunnhildur and I was so excited to find out what she'd been up to.

The opening of Cold Breath finds Gunnhildur being taken off her regular police duties in Reykjavik and give the task of guarding a VIP visitor. Ali Osman is the guest of a high-profile member of parliament and will be staying in her isolated holiday home. Gunnhildur will be staying with him, with back up officers just up the road.

Ali Osman's public profile is that of a charitable man who has founded a charity that helps refugees from all over the world. However, it soon becomes clear that he may not be quite as he seems, and there are people who have a price on his head. Gunnhildur's time baby sitting may not be as peaceful and quiet as she'd anticipated.

Although this is the seventh in the series,  it can easily be read as a stand alone story. Bates very cleverly allows his readers to have a snapshot of Gunnhildur's back story through her conversations with Osman. In fact, I found it very useful to be reminded of her past, especially as it's been a while since the last book.

As always, this clever author's evocative writing creates a real sense of place. His time spent in Iceland is apparent through his detailed and excellent descriptions of the landscape, weather, people and procedures. Iceland seems to be like no other land I've read about; the low crime rate and the small, tight-knit communities.

Cold Breath is a fast-paced, tense and often furiously frantic story told in various points of view. I do love a multiple narrative story, I find that I get so much more from a story when hearing from various points of view.

Welcome back Quentin Bates, and welcome back Gunnhildur. You've been missed. I hope we don't have to wait quite so long for the next instalment.

Quentin Bates was born in England and through a series of conincidences found himself working in Iceland for his gap year. One year turned into ten, plus a wife and children. After ten years writing on the sea and a move back to the UK, Quentin took to dry land and began work as a nautical journalist and editor of a commercial fishing magazine.
He divides his time between Iceland and England.
The Gunnhildur Gisladottir series was born through the author's own inside knowledge of Iceland, and its society, along with exploring the world of crime.

Find out more about the author and his writing at
Follow him on Twitter @graskeggur

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