cover image House of Evidence

House of Evidence

Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-61109-099-4

Greatly respected in his native Iceland, crime writer Ingolfsson (The Flatey Enigma) weaves an intricate plot complete with murder, obsession, and familial guilt in this murder mystery-cum-historical narrative. The novel alternates seamlessly between two time periods: the 1973 police investigation into Jacob Kieler Jr.'s violent death and the 1910%E2%80%931945 diary entries of his late father, Jacob Sr. An engineer and diarist, Jacob Sr. wrote about his lifelong obsession with bringing the railroad to Iceland, his activities (some questionable) in a nationalist plot to separate from Denmark and appoint a German nobleman as Iceland's king, and secret dealings with Hitler's Germany regarding the building of his railroad. Reykjavik's lead detective, Halld%C3%B3, along with his team, attempt to untangle the complicated family dynamics (Ingolfsson includes a family tree ) and its many misfortunes, including four generations of male Kielers meeting untimely and tragic deaths. Numerous coincidences stoke broadening police investigation as it appears the unsolved murders of father and son might be related. Eventually a terrible secret is unmasked, and the various pieces come together. A sweeping and insightful tale. (Dec.)