Someone to Watch Over Me

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton. Minotaur, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-05147-9
In Sigurdardóttir’s absorbing if unevenly paced fifth Thóra Gudmondsdóttir mystery (after 2013’s The Day Is Dark), the Reykjavík attorney takes on a client named Jósteinn Karlsson, who claims that he wants his friend Jakob, who has Down’s syndrome, cleared of charges that he set fire to a residential care facility where, 18 months earlier, five people died. Mysterious text messages guide Thóra to evidence of rape, financial irregularities, legal ethics violations, and other abuses, suggesting new suspects and motives for the crime, but key witnesses are less than forthcoming. As she seeks to exonerate Jakob, the manipulative, cunning Jósteinn insinuates himself into the investigation for reasons she can’t identify. Sigurdardóttir adeptly weaves in the stark fallout from Iceland’s recent financial collapse, while poignantly showing the despair permeating working-class families and the devastating impacts on society’s most vulnerable members. A convoluted plot requires too much explanation, but readers fond of happy endings will feel gratified. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/2014
Release date: 02/17/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4668-5233-4
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-08097-4
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