This is the fifth novel in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series by Icelandic author, Yrsa Sigurdardottir and the third in the series that I have read. It did not disappoint.
Yrsa does a wonderful job of bringing Iceland to the reader: lots of blowing snow and freezing conditions, references to Icelandic food and politics, and many difficult names to pronounce. I also appreciate how Yrsa manages to educate readers in difficult subjects. In this novel, we find Jakob, a young man with Downs Syndrome, serving a sentence in a high-security psychiatric center. He was earlier convicted of starting a fire in his residential care home that ended the life of a number of residents and a security guard. Thora, in her role as a lawyer, has been asked to investigate the case by an unpleasant psychiatric inmate who believes Jakob is innocent.
The author taught me a lot about different types of disabilities as she explored some of the different conditions that the residents of the care home struggled with: autism, Downs Syndrome, locked-in syndrome, etc. In fact, I was so moved by the plight of the woman with locked-in syndrome, that I did further research about it. Now I have started reading "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", a true story of a French man who suffered a stroke and ended up with this syndrome. He learnt to communicate by dictating one word at a time through blinking with the one eye that he could move. He died just two days after his book was published.
NUMBER 5 IN THE Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series
Excellent writer. Very intense mystery but the characters have that calm stoicism that Nordic novels feature. Interesting to learn about Iceland and it's customs.
Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books have made me want to go to Iceland! The Thora Gudmundsdottir series are great mysteries deeply mired in Icelandic life. If you have not yet read her books, do yourself a favor and get one right away!
Very interesting tale. I really enjoyed the story.
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