Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Well Cold Breath by Quentin Bates is finished. It took me (off and on) about three days to read it. But it’s skill is that it seemed effortless. As a thriller I don’t really have any complaints about it except for the ending. And when I mean the ending I mean almost the very, very end of the book.
I actually went back a few pages thinking I’d missed something but no I hadn’t. The very, very end of the book is surprisingly anti climatic and actually given the thrills it gave me reaching that stage it’s an early contender for the most disappointing novel I’ve read this year.
But throughout the book there was one other thing that was bugging me and as the title suggests it was this…..I didn’t think it was Icelandic enough.
Now full disclosure here I’ve never been to Iceland. Yet as I was reading this the thought occurred to me that if I changed the names of the people and the towns/cities involved plus occasional references to the weather and politics then this could be set anywhere in the world. Definitely in Europe anyway.
Does this matter for a thriller? Well for a single novel as long as the story is good enough no it doesn’t. As I’ve discussed previously Amy Heydenrych’s novel Shame On you had a very sketchy portrait of London, but it was still the best thriller I’d read last year.
But this is a series featuring Officer Gunnhildur. Now this was the first book in the series I’ve read and for all I know you could get practically pass an exam in all things Icelandic if I read the earlier ones. But it shouldn’t work that way. The first Maigret novel I read was not the first in the series and yet you knew you were in France and that it wouldn’t work set anywhere else.
I could give examples like Inspector Montalbano or Miss Marple but you get my drift.
The point being that when you read these books you feel you’re in Paris, Sicily, an English village without moving from your seat. The location helps the story along when it’s a familiar character..
Would I read an Officer Gunnhildur novel again? Yes.
But more Norse would be nice.
Until the next time.