cover image Reykjavík: A Crime Story

Reykjavík: A Crime Story

Ragnar Jónasson and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Minotaur, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-90733-2

Jónasson, a translator of Agatha Christie mysteries, teams up with Icelandic prime minister Jakobsdóttir for a thrilling Scandinavian noir inspired by a real-life cold case. In 1956, a 15-year-old housemaid named Lára vanishes from the only inhabited house on Videy, a small island off the coast of Reykjavík. Infrequent media inquires into her disappearance prove fruitless until 1986, when Valur Róbertsson, an ambitious young journalist, sees Lára’s case as a potentially career-making story. Just after Valur receives a compelling scoop, he’s pushed in front of a bus and dies, and his grief-stricken younger sister, Sunna, takes over the investigation. Building on her brother’s reporting, she discovers that a cabal including a judge, a real estate developer, a councilman, and a newspaper editor has been concealing a terrible secret central to Lára’s disappearance. Jónasson has clearly learned a thing or two from Christie’s trademark tight plotting and penetrating characterizations, and Jakobsdóttir’s insider knowledge of Iceland’s halls of power lend the proceedings an air of authenticity. Fans of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series will be rapt. (Sept.)