Saturday 3 September 2022

Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir BLOG TOUR #Harm @solveigpals T.@graskeggur @CorylusB #IceAndCrime #BookReview


When wealthy doctor Ríkarður Magnússon goes to sleep in his luxurious caravan and doesn’t wake up, detectives Guðgeir Fransson and Elsa Guðrún are called to the Westman Islands to investigate what looks like murder.

Suspicion immediately falls on Ríkharður’s young, beautiful and deeply troubled girlfriend – but there are no easy answers in this case as they are drawn into family feuds, disgruntled friends and colleagues, and the presence of a group of fitness-obsessed over-achievers with secrets of their own.

As their investigation makes progress, Guðgeir and Elsa Guðrún are forced to confront their own preconceptions and prejudices as they uncover the sinister side of Ríkharður’s past.

Harm is the third novel featuring the soft-spoken Reykjavík detective Guðgeir Fransson to appear in English. Sólveig Pálsdóttir again weaves a complex web of intrigue that plays out in the Westman Islands, remote southern Iceland and Reykjavík while asking some searching questions about things society accepts at face value – and others it is not prepared to tolerate.

Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir was  published by Corylus Books on 27 August 2022 and is the third in the Ice and Crime series. Harm is translated by Quentin Bates. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour 

I am enjoying this crime series set in Iceland by Sólveig Pálsdóttir so very much. These are short novels at just under 250 pages and excellently translated into English by Quentin Bates. I was delighted to be reacquainted with detectives Guðgeir Fransson and Elsa Guðrún as they begin to investigate the death of wealthy doctor Ríkarður Magnússon.

Ríkaröur and his much younger partner, 
Diljá were on a short break on the Westman Islands with four friends. The other two couples are Diljá's age and share the same interests as her. They are all fans of fitness, yoga and wellbeing, whilst Ríkaröur was older and seemed out of place in their company. 

Diljá is devastated and shocked when Ríkaröur doesn't wake up the morning after a night out with their travelling companions. Yes, she may have aided his deep sleep somewhat, but she didn't intend for him to die. Panicking and assuming that her history of mental health problems will ensure that the finger is pointed at her, she flees the island and hides out at a remote holiday villa on the mainland. 

When Guögeir and Elsa begin their investigations by interviewing the other two couples, they are surprised by their lack of feeling about the death of one of their group. More concerned about getting home again, all four or them raise suspicion.

What follows is a tightly plotted crime story that takes unexpected twists and turns a plenty. Pálsdóttir's characterisation is excellent and I love the fact that the reader learns more about both 
Guðgeir Fransson and Elsa Guðrún as their own personal stories are just as compelling as the crime element. The Icelandic setting is beautifully done, with the volcanic landscape brought to life so well. 

One of my favourite crime series of the moment, I'm really looking forward to more. 

Sólveig Pálsdóttir trained as an actor and has a background in the theatre, television and radio.

In a second career she studied for degrees in literature and education, and has taught literature and linguistics, drama and public speaking, and has produced both radio programming and managed cultural events.

Her first novel appeared in Iceland in 2012 and went straight to the country’s bestseller list. 

She has written five novels featuring Reykjavík detective Guðgeir Fransson and a memoir, Klettaborgin, which was a 2020 hit in Iceland.

Silenced (Fjötrar) received the 2020 Drop of Blood award for the best Icelandic novel of the year and is Iceland’s nomination for the 2021 Glass key award for the best Nordic crime novel of the year. 

Sólveig lives in Reykjavík.

Twitter @solveigpals

No comments:

Post a Comment