Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason

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Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A pacey thriller set mainly in the Icelandic wildnerness as the American attempt to move a WWII plane which crashed on a glacier - and a woman tries to find out what happened to her brother. An ingenious plot with a surprising ending which I didn't guess. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: August 2011
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 978-0099535638

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In 1945 a German bomber crashed on a glacier in Iceland. This might not have been quite so extraordinary were it not for the fact that there were both German and American officers on board. Two of the passengers are killed in the crash, one sets off for help and four people remain, trapped in the plane, eventually freezing to death. Just before the end of last century the glacier gave up the plane and the US army began an operation to remove the wreckage as secretly as possible, but two young Icelanders are caught up in what is going on. One contacts his sister but before he can complete the call they are grabbed by the soldiers, brutally attacked and their bodies and snowmobiles dumped in a crevasse.

Kristin is a lawyer. She's not keen on the Icelandic wilderness, but she's determined to find out what has happened to her brother and to make sure that whoever is responsible pays for what they have done. It's not just a proactive approach either – when two men come to her flat and she comes close to being murdered she realises that she has to keep ahead of them and find out what has happened to her brother. But what can it be that the Americans are so keen to keep secret about the plane on the glacier? What can be so important after all these years? There are rumours of gold bullion, a hydrogen bomb or a deadly virus. There's also a wish amongst the Americans that the plane had remained hidden for ever.

I'm a fan of Arnaldur Indridason and particularly of his Detective Erlendur police procedurals so this pacey thriller was something of a diversion for me. I was particularly taken by the feisty heroine – it's usually a man in these situations – and the background to the presence of the Americans on Iceland which creates ambivalence towards them amongst a number of Icelanders.

So, great heroine and good characterisation, but it's the plot that really stood out for me. I really couldn't see where it was going and was shocked as I turned the final pages. So obvious, so clever and so ingenious. Great stuff.

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

For ore of WWII German planes we can recommend Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson.

Buy Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason at Amazon.com.

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