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Brought up in the south of England, Quentin Bates took up the offer of a gap year working in Iceland in 1979, and found himself spending a gap decade there. During the 1980s he acquired a family, a new language and a new profession, before returning to the UK in 1990. Since then he has been, among other things, a full-time marine journalist.
Frozen Out is born of the author's intimate knowledge of Iceland and its people, along with a fascination with the recent upheaval in Iceland's turbulent society. Quentin and his wife regularly return to their friends, relatives and other home in the north of Iceland.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. You don't actually have to be from Scandinavia to write a Nordic thriller these days. French author Johana Gustawsson (albeit married to a Swede) with her courageous BLOCK 46 (still not available in English, sadly), Michael Ridpath and Iceland-based Brit Quentin Bates are as capable of evoking the icey wastes of the far north and attendant crimes of a somewhat cold nature. The 5th Officer Gunnhildur Gisladottir mystery sees our doughty female cop juggling with parallel cases when two junior league drug thieves from Reykvavik are snowed in inside a mothballed hotel in the wilderness holding two female hostages, alongside the disappearance of a mother and daughter on a shopping trip and a suspicious house fire. Patiently, she pieces the elements together as a race against time develops. A likeable heroine with just the right touch of fierceness and probity tempered with self-doubt and humanity, in a landscape with no compare make for a thrill a minute.
A Maxim Jakubowski Great Female Crime Sleuth. SERGEANT GUNNHILDUR - The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that propels the village of Hvalvik's police sergeant into deep waters. While the majority of Nordic cops are rather dour, this provincial female cop is a breath of fresh air as she dives headlong into a corrupt and very male world with a sassy drive to succeed. Hopefully the first of many cases for her. February 2011 Book of the Month. The Lovereading view... Murder, corruption and financial meltdown in Iceland from an author whose intimate knowledge of the recent upheavals there packs a real punch. Meticulously constructed its key protagonist female police sargeant Gunnhildur must leave a quiet safe backwater of her local community and into a hostile world where dealing, double dealing, shady deals and violence are the order of the day.
Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . . Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavik, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together - too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man's past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience - or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be. Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavik to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.
It's the tail end of a hot summer when half of Reykjav k is on holiday and the other half wishes it was. Things are quiet when a man is reported missing from his home in the suburbs. As Gunna and Helgi investigate, it becomes clear that the missing man had secrets of his own that lead to a sinister set of friends, and to someone with little to lose who is a fugitive from both justice and the underworld. It becomes a challenge for Gunna to tail both the victim and his would-be executioner, racing to catch up with at least one of them before they finally meet.'Superior crime fiction set in Iceland... this is a well constructed, well written and satisfying police procedural.' Marcel Berlins, The Times
A successful housebreaker who leaves no traces and no clues as he strips Reykjav k homes of their valuables has been a thorn in the police's side for months. But when one night the thief breaks into the wrong house, he finds himself caught in a trap as the stakes are raised far beyond anything he could have imagined. Gunnhildur G slad ttir of the Reykjav k police finds herself frustrated at every turn as she searches for a victim who has vanished from the scene of the crime, and wonders if it could be linked to the murders of two businessmen with dubious reputations that her bosses are warning her to keep clear of.
When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik's smartest hotels, sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir of the city police force sees no evidence of foul play but still suspects things are not as cut and dried as they seem. And as she investigates the shipowner's untimely - and embarrassing - demise, she stumbles across a discreet bondage society whose members are being systematically exploited and blackmailed. But how does all this connect to a local gangster recently returned to Iceland after many years abroad, and the unfortunate loss of a government laptop containing sensitive data about various members of the ruling party? What begins as a straightforward case for Gunnhildur soon explodes into a dangerous investigation, uncovering secrets that ruthless men are ready to go to violent extremes to keep. Praise for Quentin Bates: 'Superior crime fiction set in Iceland... this is a well constructed, well written and satisfying police procedural'. The Times. A meticulously constructed thriller, peopled with exceptionally convincing characters and shot through with black humour. Frozen Out is as chilling as an Icelandic winter. S.J. Bolton [A] crackling fiction debut ... palpable authenticity. Publishers Weekly British author Bates captures the chilly spirit of Nordic crime fiction in what is the apparent start of a promising series with a distinctly appealing protagonist. Fans of Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik mysteries will want to add Bates to their reading lists. Booklist
It's a bitter winter morning when Sergeant Gunnhildur is called to the scene of a violent killing in an abandoned industrial unit. Gunna and her sidekick Helgi quickly find that the battered victim had no shortage of enemies.The case takes Gunna around Reykjav k's darker side and Helgi to the bleak rural district he grew up in as they work out who was prepared to take a grudge as far as murder.
Officer Gunnhildur, recently promoted from her post in rural Iceland to Reykjavik's Serious Crime Unit, is tasked with hunting down escaped convict Long Ommi, who has embarked on a spree of violent score-settling in and around the city. Meanwhile, she's also investigating the murder of a fitness guru in her own city-center apartment. As Gunna delves into the cases, she unearths some unwelcome secrets and influential friends shared by both guru and convict. Set in an Iceland plagued by an ongoing financial crisis, Gunna has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have swept through the country-and the fact that at the highest levels of power, the system's endemic corruption still leads, inevitably, to murder.
Following her promotion and working now from Reykjavik, Gunnhildur is given responsibility for two cases - the first in tracking down an escaped convict who's keen to settle old scores, and the other, the murder of a TV fitness presenter in her city centre apartment. With the police short staffed and underfunded following the financial crash, Gunnhildur and her team set about delving into the backgrounds of both, where they uncover some unwelcome secrets and some influential friends of both who have no wish to be in the public eye. Set in an Iceland that is coming to terms with the deepening recession, Gunnhildur has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have taken place as she investigates criminals at opposite ends of the social scale as some uncomfortable links appear between the two cases. Praise for Frozen Out: A meticulously constructed thriller, peopled with exceptionally convincing characters and shot through with black humour. Frozen Out is as chilling as an Icelandic winter. S.J. Bolton [A] crackling fiction debut ... palpable authenticity. Publishers Weekly British author Bates captures the chilly spirit of Nordic crime fiction in what is the apparent start of a promising series with a distinctly appealing protagonist. Fans of Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik mysteries will want to add Bates to their reading lists. Booklist Gunna is an admirable protagonist: sensible, intelligent and determined....I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can recommend it very highly as a flying start to what seems to be shaping up to be a superb new series. Eurocrime. Well written and absorbing. Women's Voice ...compelling fast paced stuff that never falters. Hackwriters.com ...his blistering debut reads more like an American procedural than the British product, right down to a denouement as acridly unsatisfying as today's headlines. Kirkus Reviews