Mondays in Iceland - #63
by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
A Þóra Guðmundsdóttir Thriller
Victoria Cribb, translator
This is the sixth entry in the series centered on an Icelandic lawyer who has a knack for getting involved in gruesome multiple murders. This is the fourth book of Yrsa's that I've reviewed. They've always struck me as being competent, if somewhat uninspired. The strong point in all of these is the plotting, their weakest points are in character psychology and atmosphere. The interaction between Þóra and her assistant Bella is particularly awkward. Because the story is fairly complex, a good deal of time must be spent in exposition and going over chronological details. This is an important consideration; if you like your mysteries to be nebulous and beguiling you won't enjoy this. Conversely, if you like to have all your "ducks in a row," you will appreciate this novel.
It is a "ghost ship" mystery—a repossessed luxury yacht crashes into the Reykjavík's Faxaflói Bay with no crew or passengers aboard. The missing passengers, a bank representative and his wife and their twin daughters, were aboard, ostensibly to return it to Iceland, where it could resold by the bank. The story switched between the current investigation and the events aboard the yacht. There are several unnerving incidents aboard ship and as the story progresses things become gruesome. I think that this story would be better experienced as a movie. Nevertheless, it is a compelling read, although I was somewhat disappointed by its ending.