>Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Det tredje tegn (2006)

>
Islandsk debut (Jeg læste bogen på svensk og beklager, hvis der er unøjagtigheder i forhold til den danske oversættelse.)

Et mishandlet lig dumper bogstavelig talt ned i hovedet på en stakkels underviser, som åbner døren til printerrummet på universitetet i Reykjavik. En ung tysker er blevet myrdet, liget er skændet på forskellig vis, og tre dage efter pågriber politiet morderen, en lokal narkohandler.

Thora Gudmundsdottir, advokat og enlig mor til to, bliver bedt om at gennemgå sagen af den myrdedes mor, som tvivler på, politiet har fundet den rette person. Thora er lidt forbeholden, men kvinden tilbyder et salær og en bonus, en enlig mor umuligt kan sige nej til.
Hun arbejder tæt sammen med familiens tyske advokat, Matthew Reichs, og i starten er samarbejdet noget belastet af, at de er så vidt forskellige personligheder. Hen ad vejen finder hun dog ud af at tackle sin samarbejdspartner (eller er det omvendt?)

Sigurdardottir har skrevet en spændende og lovende debut, hvor hovedpersonernes interesse for heksebrændinger og trolddomskunst spiller en stor, og interessant rolle. Romanen kan derfor på nogle måder sammenlignes med Boltons debut, Sacrifice, men efter min mening uden at være på helt samme niveau. Sigurdardottirs personer er levende og vedkommende, især Thora selv, men samspillet mellem dem virker ikke altid psykologisk troværdigt, og der er også lovlig mange personer, som på stående fod kan levere rene forelæsninger om heksekunst i middelalderen.

Trods disse begynderfejl glæder jeg mig til at læse mere islandsk krimi, blandt andet for miljøskildringernes skyld.

Har du læst andre nyere krimier, hvor hekse og trolde udgør et væsentligt tema?

Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Last Rituals (2007)

Debut from Iceland.

A maltreated body tumbles down on the head of a poor professor who opens the door to the printer room of the university of Reykjavik. A young German student has been murdered, his body has been violated in various ways, and three days later the police apprehend the murderer, a local drug dealer.

Thora Gudmundsdottir, lawyer and single mother of two children, is hired to go over the case by the mother of the victim who doubts that the police have caught the right person. Thora has certain reservations, but the woman offers her a fee and a bonus a single mother cannot refuse. She has to cooperate with the German lawyer of the family, Matthew Reichs, and in the beginning their collaboration is somewhat strained by their very different personalities. As they go along, she learns to tackle her companion, however (or is it the other way round?)

Sigurdardottir has written an exciting and promising debut in which the main characters´ interest in witch burnings and sorcery play a large and interesting role. Therefore the novel can be compared to Bolton´s debut, Sacrifice, in some ways, but without being on quite the same level. Sigurdardottir´s characters are credible, especially Thora herself, but the interplay is not always psychologically convincing, and there are too many people who are able to deliver off-hand lectures on witchcraft in the Middle Ages.

Other reviewers have commented on the language, but as I read this in Swedish I´d better refrain from that. All I can say is that it was fairly easy to read.

Despite these beginner´s errors I am looking forward to more Icelandic crime, for the environment and the excitement among other things.

Have you come across other modern crime novels in which witches and trolls play an important part?

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 Icelandic, review, Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Bookmark the permalink.

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