Last Rituals

With the completion of this “nordic noir” murder mystery, I have finally completed the PopSugar Reading Challenge for 2018 and wow, what a note to end on! I’ve been fascinated by Iceland since I took a couple Norse-related classes in college and had an amazing professor from Iceland and as I’m gearing up to write a murder mystery of my own for NaNoWriMo, this was the perfect addition to my October TBR. I’m going to go ahead and apologize for all the inevitable names typos and I’m not even going to TRY to replicate the last names right here.

Thora is a lawyer and single mother of two who gets an offer she can’t refuse: a lot of money to help a German family find out who really killed their son, Harald. She’s approached by another man they have enlisted, Matthew, and one man is already in jail on suspicion of being the culprit, but the parents of aren’t quite sure that he was truly killed by his drug dealer. Some things don’t just add up, and with the state that Harald’s body was in, it looks far more ritualistic than something the drug dealer might cook up. ¬†Harald, before his untimely death, was a graduate student studying witch hunts and the founder of his own magical society, so maybe there’s something for Thora and Matthew to unpack there. As they dive into the craziness that was Harald’s life, their personal lives also become a bit more complicated and when Thora finally cracks the case and discovers who truly killed Harald, you’ll be “Ahhhh”-ing and nodding your head, having followed the trail that led you there while still enthralled about the journey.

I had a strong hunch about the true culprit of Harald’s murder from pretty early on, but I did start to doubt myself throughout because the author, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, plants a lot of red herrings and tangential clues. She truly fleshes out Harald’s odd life, his body modifications and sexual preferences and his home and his scholarship and his family life and wow, it really draws you in. I discovered this book when looking up good “nordic noir” because I’d never read any and really didn’t want to read Jo Nesbo or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series (based on movie adaptations, sorry) but I’m so glad I found this series. I have a LOT of books to read in the next few months, but I may come back to Thora and Matthew and read the rest of the seres in 2019.

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