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Monday, January 16, 2012

Where the Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath

Where the Shadows Lie  offers lots of Icelandic atmosphere.  When Magnus Jonson, a Boston police officer, finds himself the target of a drug cartel, his boss seconds him to the Iceland police force which has requested someone with experience to aid them with their own rising drug and gang related crime.  Magnus, born in Iceland, and with duel citizenship, fits the bill.  The assignment would also keep him safe from the cartel's attempts to eliminate him before he can testify at the trial that would seriously damage the cartel.

On his arrival in Iceland, he is assigned to the recent murder of a professor  of Icelandic myth and legends.  Magnus doesn't exactly fit in with the Icelandic force and makes mistakes, but does find himself involved with a beautiful woman who has a definite connection to an ancient Icelandic saga that her family has kept secret for generations and, through her father's friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, a link to the reason for the professor's murder.

Lots of interesting details about the myths and sagas of Iceland (that Tolkien studied and admired and used in his own LOTR work).  Myth and murder and Magnus' personal quest to find his father's murderer all intertwine.

 "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie...."

LOTR fans will find this one interesting for more reasons than the mystery aspect.

Fiction.  Mystery.  2011.  352 pages.


  1. Ooh, how lovely. I must see if my library has this one. Love the connection to LOTR and what a good idea to include it.

    I'm reading a crime novel set in Iceland right now too - FROZEN ASSETS by Quentin Bates. Liking it very much so far and #2 in the series has just come out.

  2. Oh, how interesting. On to the wish list it goes. :)

  3. Kay - I just checked on Frozen Assets and added it to my list. A new series to enjoy.

    The LOTR link was an interesting facet of Where Shadows Lie. I read a biography of Tolkien years ago and remember his fascination with Icelandic myths, so the novel's connection with LOTR intrigued me.

    Kailana - Yep...the never-ending list!

  4. I've become "semi-hooked" on the Nordic crime fiction that seems to be everywhere these days. Thanks for adding to my TBR list. :-)