>An Unkindness of Ravens


[Picture: RSPB]

“… the raven appears in a whole load of different religions and myths – Norse, Celtic, North American, Greek. It´s associated with death in all of them. It´s either the messenger of death, or a medium of communication with the underworld. It´s also considered by some to be the bringer of war or misfortune, mainly because it hung round battlefields and ate the dead.”

“In Irish folklore, the raven is omniscient, all seeing and knowing. It´s linked to a couple of mythical characters – the Celtic goddess Morrigane and the war goddesses of Badbh, Macha and Nemain who took the form of ravens. For North American Indians it seems that the raven appears as a deity and is a powerful shapeshifter, being able to transform into anyone or anything to get what it wants. Or he´s a trickster, fooling people into giving him what he wants, something that might be of great personal harm.”

Small wonder that this black bird has appealed to several writers of crime fiction.

Offhand, I can remember one American and two British novels – plus the fairly new one which I ´stole´ the above quotations from. I think the author may forgive me tomorrow when I reveal the source in my review, however.

How many crime novels do you know in which ravens play a role?

NB: this is not a bait post so you don´t have to worry about giving too much away.

My readers´ suggestions:

Ruth Rendell, An Unkindness of Ravens
Ann Cleeves, Raven Black
Ellis Peters, The Raven in the Foregate

Karin Fossum, Black Seconds (Dansk: Sorte sekunder).


About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in quotation. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s