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On the shores of a tranquil fjord in northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer's night. As the hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik's smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that propels the village of Hvalvik's police sergeant Gunnhildur into deep waters When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik's premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik Blackout Dark Iceland, Book 3 By: Ragnar Jonasson, Quentin Bates - translator Narrated by: Ragnar Jonasson , Quentin Bates - translator Narrated by: Dark Iceland , Book 3 Length: Add to Cart failed.
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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Frozen Assets by Quentin Bates. Frozen Assets Officer Gunnhilder, 1 3. A body is found floating in the harbor of a rural Icelandic fishing village. Was it an accident, or something more sinister? It's up to Officer Gunnhildur, a sardonic female cop, to find out.
Her investigation uncovers a web of corruption connected to Iceland's business and banking communities. Meanwhile, a rookie crime journalist latches onto her, looking for a scoop, and A body is found floating in the harbor of a rural Icelandic fishing village. Meanwhile, a rookie crime journalist latches onto her, looking for a scoop, and an anonymous blogger is stirring up trouble. The complications increase, as do the stakes, when a second murder is committed.
Hardcover , pages. Published January 18th by Soho Crime first published December 23rd To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Frozen Assets , please sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Who was the blogger? See 1 question about Frozen Assets…. Lists with This Book. It is interesting to read a murder mystery in a country where murder is all but non-existent, over the last two decades, an average of about two people have been murdered annually in the small and prosperous nation of , It has had entire years — , and — when not a single person was murdered.
Just recently, the murder of a 20 Icelander woman made the New York Times. Iceland like the United States suffered the financial crisis, unlike the United States, the Icelandic gover It is interesting to read a murder mystery in a country where murder is all but non-existent, over the last two decades, an average of about two people have been murdered annually in the small and prosperous nation of , Iceland like the United States suffered the financial crisis, unlike the United States, the Icelandic government let its three major banks - Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbankinn - fail and went after reckless bankers.
Many senior executives were jailed and the country's ex-prime minister Geir Haarde was also put on trial, becoming the first world leader to face criminal prosecution arising from the turmoil. With the impending financial crisis as a backdrop Frozen Assets introduces Officer Gunnhildur, single mother, widow, police officer. After finding a body on a beach, Officer Gunnhildur does not accept the accidental death theory, she stumbles into a scheme that the energy minister and his wife are up too to make money at the expense of the taxpayer.
Reading about police procedures in other countries is always interesting, unlike Arnaldur Indridason books, Quentin Bates books are not so dark and brooding. Be ready to be confused by the names. This review was originally posted on The Pfaeffle Journal View all 9 comments. Set in Iceland in , just as the financial meltdown begins, it features Sergeant Gunnhildur or Gunna for short. Gunna is not young, slight and beautiful - she's a 'big girl', gruff, down-to-earth and with the habit of calling her colleagues 'lad'.
However, she is a really realistic and likeable character, with a past and baggage. The author has given us snippets of her past, but not everything. She's a young widow - her hus 'Frozen Out' is the first in a new police procedure thriller series. She's a young widow - her husband died in an accident - but we don't know the details. She has two children and there is a mysterious love interest floating around in the background too.
The story is also interspersed with articles written by someone known as 'Skandalblogger' - revealing dark secrets about the rich and famous, and upsetting people at the highest levels with every article. Although the author is British, he spent a lot of time living in Iceland and this is clear from the descriptions, not just of the countryside but also the quirks of the Icelandic people are perfectly portrayed.
I did have some difficulty with the very long and very strange character and place names, but they soon became familiar and this spoilt nothing of what is a fast-paced and exciting thriller. With lots of insight into the corruption within the Government and the financial sector - yet in a very understandable and accessible way, a great plot, a fabulous new heroine - this is the first instalment in what I hope will continue to be a great police detective series.
May 07, Rob Kitchin rated it it was ok. I struggled with Frozen Out. It had all the plot and character ingredients to be a very good read, but somehow it failed to fully deliver. The principle problem for me was the credibility of the plot. There were too many things about the procedural elements and office politics of the police investigation and the political corruption and murders that I did not believe. This was not helped by the writing being quite flat and lifeless, the dialogue stilted, and the narrative long winded.
Gunnhildur is the novel's saving grace. She was an interesting character and has much potential for heading a series. I can safely say this was the worst book I have ever read. I would have given up on it but it was my book club selection so I had to finish it. Don't be fooled by the cover blurb: There is nothing thrilling or chilling about this confusing, mixed up plot.
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The difficult Icelandic names and place names make for heavy going too. It would help if authors provided a glossary so that we would have a guide to pronunci I can safely say this was the worst book I have ever read. It would help if authors provided a glossary so that we would have a guide to pronunciation. I did start to enjoy it around about the middle of the book, but that was only when the main character was forefront in the story and my enjoyment was very short lived. Jan 06, Cathy Cole rated it really liked it.
Water gurgled between the piles of the dock and the car's tyres juddered over the heavy timbers. It's an open-and-shut case: But Police Sergeant Gunnhildur wonders why on earth he'd get drunk in Reykjavik and then drive a hundred miles to fall into the harbor in her town and drown? Resources are tight, and although she's advised to stop looking into this death, Gunnhildur is nothing if not stubborn. The further First Line: The further she digs, the more she finds-- and the information and clues are leading all the way to Iceland's business and banking communities.
While Gunnhildur and her team investigate, a rookie crime journalist attaches himself to her in an attempt to get a scoop, and everyone in the country is wondering who's dishing all the dirt at Skandalblogger. When a second murder occurs, Gunnhildur knows she and her team must move even faster to catch a very wily killer.
Bates makes the landscape and weather of Iceland a brooding character in Frozen Assets. The economy, which worsens daily, highlights Iceland's precarious situation as a small country with very limited resources. The secondary characters with the exception of two spoiled rich sisters are a bit two-dimensional, but the two main characters certainly aren't.
The killer is ruthless and very, very smart if a bit arrogant. Having heard Officer Gunnhildur referred to as "the fat policewoman" once, he continues to dismiss her as such-- even when he discovers that she's more than a match for him. Gunna is the single mother of two children. Her thirteen-year-old daughter is still in school while her nineteen-year-old son is working as a deckhand on a fishing boat.
The reader knows that she's a bit out of the ordinary right from the start when she insists that the young man's death is not a case of accidental drowning, and then when the case is given to another policeman who wants to pin the death on his favorite suspect. As soon as she sees which way the wind is blowing, she refuses to have any part in it. When Gunna knows she's right, she will not back down, regardless of whose face she has to get into, what she has to say, or how many hours she has to work.
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She's good at thinking on her feet, and she does an excellent job of running the investigation and keeping everyone focused and looking in the right directions. The best part of this book was watching the battle of wits between Gunna and the killer. If there was any one thing that disappointed me in reading this book, it was that I found the tone to be curiously dispassionate. I found it difficult to become fully engaged in the story.
That is a minor quibble however, as there is plenty to like in Frozen Assets. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Officer Gunnhildur, and I won't have to wait long. The second book in the series, Cold Comfort, just became available. Sep 30, Richard Pierce rated it it was amazing. We've all become used to, and probably tired of, Scandinavian noir crime novels with detectives who carry massive personality disorders as part of their daily baggage, or who are addicted to one thing or another, or who fight depression as well as crime.
The really refreshing thing about Frozen Out is that Bates does not give us yet another set of world-weary Scandos. Instead, here is a crime novel suffused with real-life, crime-weary, politician-weary humour. Gunna, the main police character is We've all become used to, and probably tired of, Scandinavian noir crime novels with detectives who carry massive personality disorders as part of their daily baggage, or who are addicted to one thing or another, or who fight depression as well as crime.
Gunna, the main police character is wonderfully drawn, and, although she is described as fat, "with a face to scare the horses," she is, in actual fact, well-drawn, and not without a degree of less than maternalistic sensuality.
For me, her moral and mental strength, lift her head and shoulders above the rest of the book's cast, although that cast, too is very well-drawn. I enjoyed the simplicity of the language which I think could well be the result of a decade spent in Iceland by Bates , because very often it is simplicity of language which makes novels great, where purple prose is nothing more than an author showing off after swalling a dictionary and a thesaurus. To be able to read a crime novel that is so up to date, and which does give a glimmer of hope in dark times, is something that's always a great experience, and I was totally and utterly absorbed in this.
High-quality writing at a bargain price. Go and get it! This Icelandic police procedural is set prior to the credit crunch, before the dominos started tumbling and an economic house of cards on the fringe of northern Europe collapsed completely. It operates on two linked levels; a humdrum local investigation, with a shrewd but going-nowhere rural female police officer dragged away from her usual workload to deal with a suspicious death. The alternative narrative is a tale of political, economic and environmental intrigue, where dirty deals are done a This Icelandic police procedural is set prior to the credit crunch, before the dominos started tumbling and an economic house of cards on the fringe of northern Europe collapsed completely.
The alternative narrative is a tale of political, economic and environmental intrigue, where dirty deals are done at the highest levels to privatise national assets, to industrialise ecological preserves, and to line the pockets of all involved. So far, so Borgen. Yay for positive role models. Her opposite number, a sinister foreigner, ex-special forces, is a little less plausible but satisfyingly bad.
Where Frozen Out left me cold sorry was in its odd lack of authentic atmosphere. It generated no real sense of place for me. There was no bite to the air, no sense of overwhelming isolation, or the everlong winter evening, or the weird white nights of summer. There's more thoughts about this over at https: Solid, then, if unspectacular. The story sets the base for the future books with how Gunna ends up working back in Reykjavik where most of the crime happens , I felt like I could instantly visualise the places and characters, at one point I thought that I could see this working well as a TV series, maybe down to the great dialogue.
I dont want to spoil the plot so I wont go into detail, but I just loved it and I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. Dec 19, Rachel Hall rated it really liked it. Set between August and September with the economy teetering on the brink of financial collapse brought on largely by the banking crisis, things are looking bleak in Iceland and the mood is ominous. Prices and interest rates in the country are on the rise, the housing market is plummeting, yet nothing seems to abate the ascent of the skyscrapers which big businesses in Re Set between August and September with the economy teetering on the brink of financial collapse brought on largely by the banking crisis, things are looking bleak in Iceland and the mood is ominous.
Prices and interest rates in the country are on the rise, the housing market is plummeting, yet nothing seems to abate the ascent of the skyscrapers which big businesses in Reykjavik continue to find the money to finance. The tension is palpable and wry observations on the stability and importance of the fishing industry to the nation are well placed by author Quentin Bates.
With an anonymous blogger calling itself Skandalblogger peddling "unsubstantiated and extremely libellous gossip about the great and the good of Icelandic entertainment, business and politics", the corruption which everyone suspects is rife at the heart of government is under the full glare of the media spotlight and something has to give In charge of the tiny police station in the village where the more familiar business is issuing a speeding ticket and escorting drunken locals home, her limited resources are stretched to the hilt.
When a body is found floating in the local harbour and Gunna's superiors seem content for the easy verdict of death by misadventure to stand one might think Gunna would settle for an easy life and concur. Yet Gunna is nothing if not dogmatic. When further digging reveals that the dead man worked for a PR company run by the wife of the Environmental Affairs minister, both frequent targets of the Skandalblogger her instinct tells her something is amiss.
Against a backdrop of limited financial resources and budget constraints a less tenacious police officer might be content to leave things unexplored, but not Gunnhildur, even if it means ruffling a few feathers. Quentin Bates superbly emphasises the position of both a rural police force in the wider context of the nation and that of Iceland itself as a relatively small country with limited muscle on a global scale.
It is clear that Gunna is in no position to throw her weight around. With several strands of focus alternating between Skandalblogger and its repercussions and the investigation of the body found by Gunna, the novel is very well paced. Topical issues of environmental destruction and corruption at the very centre of power all serve to make this create a timely police procedural. With some splendid black humour woven through the novel, this makes for a lively narration and Frozen Out deserves to draw plaudits.
As an introduction to the character of Gunna and the workings of the Icelandic police force the use of a naive rookie crime journalist shadowing her work is a clever ploy and makes for a very thorough introduction to both her character, the work of a rural police force and highlights the importance of fishing to the coastal areas of Iceland. As a middle aged widower, a mother of two and with a career of sixteen years in the force behind her, there aren't many female officers with her level of experience.
Astute, often brusque and described as "a big fat lass with a face that frightens the horses", she makes for a unique protagonist. The pacing builds into a cat and mouse chase to the finish and Bates provides one final twist of the knife. Wherever it may be, I will certainly be following her journey closely. The novel ingeniously weaves a real life event with enormous repercussions for society into a crime fiction novel and makes for a damning portrayal of the build up to the banking crisis which sent Europe into economic tailspin.
Despite a large cast of characters everyone is well drawn and none of them seem one dimensional. The presence of some unusual names shouldn't put English readers off as each of the characters leave their mark. With a realistic portrayal of the banter and rapport which a career in the police force fosters the secondary police characters are also well developed and will hopefully feature in subsequent novels.
Gunna rises to a challenge and commands her troops admirably showing that this lady is certainly no redneck copper. The benefit of this dual setting allows readers a glimpse in the situation in Reykjavik and makes for a clever exploration of the turmoil leading up to the financial implosion.
As a big picture view of Iceland, Frozen Out serves wonderfully and is replete with nuggets of information concerning local cuisine, industry, surname formation and the idiosyncrasies of the natives. It certainly gives readers a feel for the authentic portrait of a country and this creates a noticeable atmosphere. Iceland remains a veritable landscape for brooding crime fiction and Quentin Bates has plenty of his own talents as an author to showcase.
View all 5 comments. This novel is set at the time of the first rumblings of the Icelandic financial crisis in It's a fairly straightforward police procedural, with a lot of legwork for the team which has been assembled to investigate two murders apparently linked to less than transparent business dealings involving at least one dodgy politician and his wife.
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