Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Strange Shores - How To Write A Baffling Tale


Write about a cold case. Throw in the soupcon of spooky. Stir in ladlefuls of snowy landscapes. Dig open coffins on a cold and dark night. Muddle an inner world with the outer. Slap on some random closure when three fourths done. Leave the reader to trudge through the icy sludge of a Nordic imagination where every name rings a Thor and Odin bell. Clear as ditchwater?
My first Arnaldur Indriðason has not been very promising. Perhaps that’s what comes of picking up the last book in a series for that is what this is supposed to be.



Bleak landscapes can make for a plodding read when the author is not quite sure what he means to convey. You squint along the pages, shading your eyes from the blinding glare of mystery. Not one but two. And all the time you’re hauled from out a very cold place to infernos of human passions.


Somehow the vile crimes and the torrid emotions that form the molten core of Strange Shores didn’t quite launch anything for me. 




I don’t even think I’d venture to try out another but that’s only because this psychological genre is a bit of a dicey case of trick or treat.

Otherwise it is a gentle book about horrible happenings. Poe meets Jung or something of the sort.

A good pick for a chilling hot weather read when the soaring mercury outside drives a soul indoors, to snuggle under a quilt in an air-conditioned room and plough through a Nordic murder mystery.



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