Today I’m joining a blog tour for Corylus Books, a small publisher of European crime fiction. We’re off to Iceland for Harm, the third of Sólveig Pálsdóttir’s novels to feature detective Guðgeir Fransson. It’s the first I have read, but it worked as a jumping-on point.
We meet Ríkharður, a fifty-something doctor on holiday with Diljá, his much younger girlfriend (ex, he has to remind himself), and four of her friends. Diljá finds Ríkharður dead one morning, and flees. Enter Guðgeir and his fellow detective Elsa Guðrún, who start to question Diljá’s friends while the police are searching for her.
Harm is a relatively short novel that moves along at a brisk pace, with a plot that shifts in several directions. The initial rounds of questioning uncover a darker side to Ríkharður, a fragile side to Diljá, and mysteries among Diljá’s friends – but Sólveig’s tale does not rest on its laurels.
I was pleased to find that I really couldn’t tell where Harm was going. I also appreciated the way Sólveig explored her characters’ backgrounds, illuminating complex moral issues. All in all, this novel was a highly intriguing read.