Frozen Out by Quentin Bates

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Frozen Out by Quentin Bates

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Well-written, contemporary and intriguing with plenty to keep you thinking. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Robinson
ISBN: 978-1849013604

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When a body was washed up on the beach of a rural Icelandic fishing village the powers-that-be were rather keen that the death should be written off as an accident. After all, falling into the water when you've had far too much to drink is not unusual. Hvalvick's police sargeant, Gunnhildur, isn't convinced though. The 'drinking too much' was done in the bars of Reykjavik, some hundred kilometres away. If the man was too drunk to walk he was certainly in no position to drive a car – so who brought him to his death – and why?

Discovering a new writer of detective fiction – and particularly police procedurals – is one of those moments precariously perched between heaven and hell. So many turn out to be poor quality and I'm in for a disappointment, but just occasionally you find a gem and that's what happened with Frozen Out. Set in the south-west corner of Iceland and with a detective you've got to love (a big fat lass with a face that frightens the horses as someone described her, not unkindly or inaccurately) and an in-depth knowledge of just how Iceland works it's a perfect book to curl up with in front of the fire.

It's contemporary, set in the late summer of 2008 just as the credit crisis was looming on the horizon, there are all the early signs that something isn't quite well with the economy. There are worries about pollution too as people see industry creeping into country areas – and then there's a blogger who seems to know far too much about what's really going on with the great and not-so-good. Do the papers try to unmask the blogger – or do they sit back and reap the benefit of some of the deliciously scandalous stories which appear?

It's a very satisfying book on all sorts of levels – a damned good story, people you warm to and a real feeling for Iceland. I really hope that we'll be hearing more about Gunna's investigations. We've had quite a few books set in Iceland recently, but this one will give them a run for their money.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason.

Quentin Bates Officer Gunnhildur Icelandic Mysteries in Chronological Order

Buy Frozen Out by Quentin Bates at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Frozen Out by Quentin Bates at

Buy Frozen Out by Quentin Bates at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Frozen Out by Quentin Bates at


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