By Quentin Bates
Published by Constable (3 March 2016)
Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter...
When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik's premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day's shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages...
This is the fifth in the Gunnhildur Gisladottir series, but the first Quentin Bates book I have read. So you can easily read this as a standalone. Although having read Thin Ice, I now want to start the series from the beginning.
Set in Iceland, the Thin Ice plot focuses on two small-time crooks who rob a drug dealer and take two women hostage when their getaway driver doesn't turn up. They end up in an isolated hotel that's been closed for the winter. Meanwhile the police are investigating two seemingly unconnected crimes - a house fire and the disappearance of a mother and her daughter.
In Thin Ice, Quentin Bates throws you in at the deep end, starting straight away with an action scene that introduces you to the main characters. Each chapter focuses on a different day in the story - the whole book takes place over eight days - and each chapter is split between the two subplots (the two crooks and the detectives trying to solve the case). The book flows at a fast pace, keeping the two subplots moving, as the tension between the crooks and their hostages builds up.
I liked all of the main characters (even if I wasn't supposed to) and loved the chilling atmospheric setting of the hotel. Quentin Bates' vivid descriptions enabled me to picture it as I read. Lots of twists and turns kept me intrigued all the way through, and I thought the book had a great ending (although it wasn't totally unexpected).
I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.
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