The Darkness Knows

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Detective Konrád, Bk. 1). Aug. 2021. 352p. tr. from Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. ISBN 9781250765468. $27.99. THRILLER
A receding glacier in Iceland gives up a long-held secret when a tour guide discovers a body in the melting ice. The police quickly identify the victim as Sigurvin, a businessman who had gone missing 30 years earlier, in 1985, and was presumed murdered. Sigurvin was last seen with a man named Hjaltalín, a former business partner; they reportedly had argued shortly before Sigurvin’s disappearance. Hjaltalín always claimed innocence in Sigurvin’s case, but his life was ruined by accusations of culpability. Now the police have brought Hjaltalín back in for questioning, and he refuses to speak with anyone except Konrád, a retired police detective who had led the original investigation. The case has haunted Konrád for years, and he is soon compelled to investigate on his own, as fresh leads appear.
VERDICT Last seen in The Shadow District, detective Konrád is back for the launch of his own series. The award-winning Indridason has a long track record of writing grimly compelling Nordic crime thrillers, but this latest title moves at the pace of its retired protagonist. Konrád is often mired in his past, and there’s little suspense as he slowly pursues suspects in a decades-old murder.
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