I first discovered Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason about three years ago and I was immediately captivated by the tone of his novels and I’ve now got our small town library filled with his books. When I saw his name and this book available for request for reviewers, I was excited to make the request. What I didn’t know was that this is part of a new series (the second book) known as the Reykjavik Wartime Mystery series. This definitely threw me off as I read the first few chapters … Why are we in 1941? Where is Inspector Erlendur? … Of course I caught on that this was not part of the Inspector Erlendur series and I just sat back to enjoy my mystery.
A man is found dead, shot in the head execution style, in a small apartment in Reykjavik. The bullet belonged to a Colt .45 pistol – standard issue for American GIs! Icelandic Detective Flóvent must work with U.S. Military Police Officer Thorson (a Canadian with Icelandic parents) since there is a strong possibility that the killer is a U.S. serviceman.
But the first surprise comes when the landlady informs them that the dead man is not the man who rents the apartment, as they first suspected. Now they must identify who was murdered while also looking for the killer. The deeper Flóvent and Thorson get into the case, the more disturbing the connections to the world war become.
I found this book to be very straightforward and without the entanglements of multiple subplots. My reaction, as I neared the end, that this was a very straight-forward detective mystery. We arrive on the scene with the detective(s) and follow them as they look into the case.
This makes it a slow-moving book. Slow is not always a bad thing. I enjoyed following along and making these discoveries. And the history of Iceland’s involvement as a strategic location in WWII was very interesting.
I missed, though, the moodiness that is typically concomitant with Icelandic mysteries.
I’ve seen this book identified as a ‘thriller’ and as a ‘police procedural.’ ‘Police procedural’ – Definitely! ‘Thriller’ – not so much.
Looking for a good book? If you enjoy detective novels, police procedural stories, and WWII history, Arnaldur Indriðason’s The Shadow Killer is just the right read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Shadow Killer
author: Arnaldur Indriðason
translator: Victoria Cribb
publisher: Minotaur Books