Fate of Ravens

Tiina Nunnally, Author
Tiina Nunnally, Author Fjord Press $12 (220p) ISBN 978-0-940242-80-7
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Seattle freelance translator Margit Andersson (introduced in Runemaker, 1996) takes a job at the international airport where she is on hand to catch a frightened elderly traveler who falls down an escalator and whispers, ""Not him!"" in Swedish before she dies. Unnerved by the event, Margit is even more unsettled when she reads of another elderly Scandinavian woman who was pushed to her death from her high-rise apartment balcony. When the police ask for her help in translating material at the crime scene, Margit gets a chance to interact again with Detective Alex Tristano. She finds the women are linked by a Thor's hammer charm, a mysterious old coin and their WWII underground work spiriting people from Nazi-occupied zones into neutral territory. Attending a Scandinavian picnic to find out more about the local woman, Margit is led to a man who was part of the Danish underground in the war and whose view of the past suggests that the women's deaths are related to their actions 50 years earlier. Working with the police, she is slowly drawn into the case, finally endangering herself as she becomes a hostage of someone whose secret past is catching up to him. Despite somewhat wooden dialogue and a tendency to telegraph action, Nunnally's blend of history, Scandinavian culture and action will satisfy readers interested in mysteries with unusual milieus. (May) FYI: Among the many books Nunnally has translated into English is Peter HYeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow.
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