In this novel by Satu Rämö, a small village community on the West Fjords of Iceland has just one criminal detective. Hildur Rúnarsdóttir unwinds by surfing and jogging, as she tries to deal with her anxiety over the mystical disappearance of her sisters 25 years earlier. She’s a traumatized detective who finds lost children as a living. She partners with Finnish cop in training, Jakob, who has emigrated to Iceland to avoid a difficult situation. The characters are made flesh and blood in an impressive way through their daily interactions. The realistic plot also takes the reader along for a dark and nuanced ride.
One of the characters in this powerful ”Nordic noir” story is the island of Iceland itself. The local nature, its untamed majesty as well as its ruggedness are brought to life so strongly that the country starts beckoning to the reader after this read. Satu Rämö is a first-time thriller writer who has previously written travel books about Iceland. The far Nordic nation creates an almost cinematic setting for the novel, as a land of giants and magical tales.
A fascinating new series of Finnish whodunits is born!
Original title: Hildur. WSOY 2022, 363 pp.
Foreign rights: Bonnier Rights Finland, bonnierrights.fi