Thin Ice – Quentin Bates
When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik’s premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages…
Thin Ice is the fifth book from Quentin Bates featuring Icelandic police officer Gunnhildur – it is a series that I am new to and I can confirm that Thin Ice is easily accessible as a stand alone story. I can also confirm that I will be dipping back into the coffers to pick up the books I have missed as Thin Ice was great fun to read.
Although this is a Gunnhildur story the main focus of the first 2/3rds of the book are the crooks! Ossur and Magni have robbed a drug dealer of thousands of Euro’s and are on the run. Unfortunately their driver failed to turn up to whisk them off to safety and they have had to improvise. A mother and daughter out on a shopping trip find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. The robbers escalate their crime spree to include a double abduction and the four head off into the Icelandic wilds looking for a safe haven.
The interaction of the robbers and their unwilling companions is wonderfully entertaining to read. A small cast thrown together in a remote location and trying to keep one step ahead of the authorities (well Ossur and Magni are) made for an unusual scenario which Quentin Bates pitched perfectly.
As the book progresses the police come into the story more. We follow their investigations and see how they start to narrow down their search for the missing women. There are some unexpected twists along the way too which took Thin Ice in directions I had not anticipated, a sensation I never tire of.
A highly enjoyable story, the snowy Icelandic chill seemed to creep off the pages and when the story drew to a close I was disappointed it was over.
Thin Ice is published by Constable and is available in paperback and digital formats. You can order a copy here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thin-Gunnhildur-Mystery-Quentin-Bates/dp/147212149X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458948336&sr=1-1&keywords=thin+ice