Flippist World Headquarters, April 14, 2018
As far as I know, this is her newest book in the US market, there are other, newer, ones but in UK only release. Yrsa keeps getting better in both her series novels and her stand-alones. This is one of the latter group, a story with three overlapping and parallel time-lines: a trio of maintenance workers and a photographer are helicoptered to a remote lighthouse on a tiny crag on the Icelandic coast, a grieving policewoman is assigned to a make-work job in the department’s archive, and a couple and their son return from a trip to Florida to their house that had been occupied by an American couple in a house-swap arrangement.
From the beginning, nothing is quite “right”, yet for a long time there is no hard evidence that any crimes have been committed. Like her previous novels, Yrsa likes to stretch out the exposition. She has a good eye for the mundane, giving commonplace items a sinister significance. This trick is used in the service of a fairly complex plot that left me guessing until the final “wow” of a denouement. The Icelandic setting is more pronounced here than in some of her other work and the psychology of the characters is definitely filtered through a Icelandic sensibility. Victoria Cribb’s translation is first-rate. I read a preview copy intended for a UK audience and while it was a bit “English” in its idioms, they weren’t enough to detract from the over-all reading experience.