Thursday, 22 May 2014

Cold Steal by Quentin Bates

A successful housebreaker who leaves no traces and no clues as he strips Reykjavík homes of their valuables has been a thorn in the police's side for months. 
But when one night the thief breaks into the wrong house, he finds himself caught in a trap as the stakes are raised far beyond anything he could have imagined. 
Gunnhildur Gísladóttir of the Reykjavík police finds herself frustrated at every turn as she searches for a victim who has vanished from the scene of the crime, and wonders if it could be linked to the murders of two businessmen with dubious reputations that her bosses are warning her to keep clear of.

Cold Steal by Quentin Bates was published by Constable & Robinson on 1 May 2014.  Cold Steal is the fourth in the Officer Gunnhilder series, I reviewed the previous three books here on Random Things; Frozen Out - January 2011; Cold Comfort - April 2012 and Chilled To The Bone - April 2013.

Officer Gunnhilder Gisladottir, or Gunna as she is affectionately known, finds herself in the midst of yet another murder mystery.  A businessman has been shot dead, and Gunna must investigate his affairs. In doing that she also has to track down a very successful and as yet, unidentified housebreaker who has been on the Police radar for some time now.

Quentin Bates has yet again delivered a complex, well-written story that is as intriguing as it is exciting. Gunna's character develops more with each new episode of her story, and the reader learns more about her and her family, as well as following her through an incredibly difficult case. I like Gunna as a heroine. She's down-to-earth, sometimes very funny, intelligent and witty. She has a family problems and she has a difficult job, but she's always real. 

I was particularly interested in the inclusion of characters from Iceland's immigrant population, giving a different take on life in the country as they have to deal with language and culture that is not their own.

This is an intelligently written, complex thriller. Gritty and violent at times and of course those almost impossible to read and pronounce Icelandic names that have become a trademark of this series.

My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

Although born in the UK in 1962, through a series of coincidences Quentin Bates found himself working in Iceland in his gap year. The gap year then became 10 years, during which time he managed to get himself married, produce a family, and generally go native in Iceland. The family then moved back to the UK in 1990 where Quentin became a full-time journalist on a commercial fishing magazine. Frozen Assets was born through the author's own inside knowledge of Iceland and its society, along with exploring the world of crime. He and his (Icelandic) wife frequently return to Iceland, where they have many friends, including several in the Reykjavik police. 

For more information visit his website at or his Facebook page
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1 comment:

  1. I am still yet to read anything in this series - too much cold crime, not enough time! But it really does sound like something I'd enjoy. It's interesting that he has friends in the Icelandic police, must make for a well-researched series.