Saturday, November 9, 2013

#39 : Where the shadows lie By Michael Ridpath : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Where the shadows lie

ISBN: 1848873972

AUTHOR: Michael Ridpath

GENRE: Fiction- Crime


FORMAT: Hardcover – Abridged

SERIES / STANDALONE: Part of Readers' Digest Select edition

REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: My co-blogger. Who else would lend me a hardbound readers' digest collector edition

I simply love the concept of having 4 separate books bound into one. “Where the shadows lie” is the first book. In spite of hitting the reader's block I managed to finish the book pretty quickly by standards. Reason: The book kept me hooked.

Our protagonist, Magnus Jonson, a cop in Boston is a target of goons. Thanks to his whistle blowing activity of a senior cop. He is shipped off to Iceland by the FBI's witness protection program. Why particularly Iceland? He is native of that country who migrated to US. And mostly importantly, there has been a murder and the Iceland police being inexperienced in such “brutal” form of violence need an “experienced” consultant.

Thus Magnus lands in Iceland’s wild volcanic landscape and begins his work investigating the murder of a professor studying an Ancient Icelandic saga. The investigation takes plenty of twists and turns pacing back and forth from past to present. Why was the professor killed? He went about poking his nose in an ancient saga called as Gakur's saga involving a ring (Yes I know rings a bell. J.R.R Tolkien’s LOTR!) Our dear villain’s dad finds that evil ring. (Nope I am not going to reveal who) The ring is allegedly gives the wearer immense power. But with great power comes great evil. That's exactly what happens. Our villain’s dad follows his ancestral manuscripts (letters from Tolkien and a original “copy” of Gakur's saga) and finally locates the ring. Our dear villain accidentally kills off his father. There begins the “evil descend” of the ring.

Magnus figures this all out by simply putting two and two together (Read talking to all people reopening old case files – The dad's murder) In short, he opens a big can of old worms.

Finally Magnus and our villain’s sister dump the ring in the mouth of a volcano for the havoc it caused.

The book kept me hooked all the way. There were no logical flaws. I loved the description of Iceland.

His love for J.R.R.Tolkien certainly shows in his writing. After all, one doesn't simply use “The ring” unless he is a Tolkien fan.

I had only one complaint : He didn't need that many characters. Arni's sister, the black detective!

Overall. Neat would be word to describe the book

VERDICT: Go for it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Before becoming a writer, Michael used to work in the City of London as a bond trader. He has written eight thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance, but is now trying my hand at something different. Where The Shadows Lie, the first in a series featuring an Icelandic detective named Magnus Jonson, was published in 2010. The third book in the series, Meltwater, is out in the UK this summer. His books have been translated into over 30 languages (including Icelandic).

He was born in Devon, brought up in North Yorkshire and studied history at Oxford University. He now lives in North London with his American wife and three children. He is a former vice chair of the Crime Writers' Association.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Hardcover, Paperback, Digital

PRICE: Rs. 191.90 (Kindle)

Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse


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