The Shadow District
The Flovent and Thorson Thrillers #1
Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Minotaur Books, November 2017
From the publisher: In the debut of a new series from international mystery giant Indridason, the murder of a woman in Reykjavik during WWII becomes a piece in the puzzle of a contemporary killing. A retired detective named Konrad remembers the earlier murder from his childhood, and is surprised when, assisting in the case of a 90-year-old man who was smothered in his bed, he comes across clippings that the old man kept of the murder. It happened in ‘the shadow district,’ a rough neighborhood bordered by the National Theatre where Konrad grew up. But why would someone be interested in that crime now? Alternating between Konrad’s unofficial investigation and the original wartime police inquiry, The Shadow District depicts the two investigations, separated by decades, discovering that two girls had been attacked in oddly similar circumstances. Did the police arrest the wrong man all those years ago? How are these cases linked across the decades? And who is the old man? A deeply compassionate story of old crimes and their consequences.
And that this surely is. This newest standalone from Mr. Indridason will resonate with his many readers, as it did with this reviewer.
The contemporary murder is that of a young woman of about twenty, the body discovered by a local Icelandic woman and her lover, found in a box in a doorway of that same National Theatre in the Shadow District. The investigation is headed by Konrad and Marta, a young woman with whom he had worked in the CID, and they immediately realize the similarities between this murder and the wartime killing, the two victims and the circumstances of their murders being so similar. The ensuing tale is riveting, in this author’s distinctive style, and it is highly recommended.
Reviewed by Gloria Feit, November 2017.