Ashes to Dust by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Of all the Nordic crime writers I had experienced, I had an opinion that Jo Nesbo is the mad-dest of them all. And, why shouldn't he be?? With the kind of brutal torture scenes in his books, and the ability to make a very peace-loving reader like me relish those scenes, he certainly deserves his status as the “mad-writer” whose taste for brutality can be called an act of a Genius.
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir might not have reached that level of madness with her scenes of violence in her book ASHES TO DUST, but when it comes to the theme of the book, she beats Nesbo hands down, and presents us with a book the ending of which left me in a dark mood. Unlike most crime fiction where the ending means the culprit being detained, and with a few losses of bodies here and there, the ending leaves the reader satisfied and happy, well almost. But, such was not the case here. Yes, the culprit did get apprehended, but the ending was dark, and by the time the motive of the culprit comes out in the open, I was left with a sense of an utter sadness. So, if you want to read this, beware, no doubt you will read a great work of crime fiction, but you will also read a book which is dark, very dark.
Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, was the protagonist. A single mother and a lawyer, who gets entangled in this mystery didn't make a deep impression in my mind. Maybe because the plot was so overwhelming that it eventually overshadowed the protagonist. Unlike other Nordic crime fiction, the speed of the book was slow.
Summing up, this book is definitely not for all and sundry. A voracious crime reader should go for it, I can vouch that he/she wont be disappointed.
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