Ashes to Dust and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: £1.77

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Ashes to Dust on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Ashes to Dust [Paperback]

Yrsa Sigurdardottir , Philip Roughton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £6.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
You Save: £6.74 (52%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 25 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.95  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £5.59  
Paperback, 22 July 2010 £6.25 Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

22 July 2010

Thóra peered at the floor, but couldn't see anything that could have frightened Markús that much, only three mounds of dust. She moved the light of her torch over them. It took her some time to realize what she was seeing-- and then it was all she could do not to let the torch slip from her hand. 'Good God,' she said. She ran the light over the three faces, one after another. Sunken cheeks, empty eye-sockets, gaping mouths; they reminded her of photographs of mummies she'd once seen in National Geographic. 'Who are these people?'

'I don't know,' said Markús...

Bodies are discovered in one of the excavated houses at a volcanic tourist attraction dubbed 'The Pompeii of the North'.

Markús Magnússon, who was only a teenager when the volcano erupted, falls under suspicion and hires attorney Thóra Gudmundsdottir to defend him - but when his childhood sweetheart is murdered his case starts to look more difficult, and the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up..

The third crime novel from international bestseller Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and the third featuring her popular heroine Thora, ASHES TO DUST is tense, taut and terrifying.

'well-written, pacey and wonderfully atmospheric.' Guardian on MY SOUL TO TAKE

Frequently Bought Together

Ashes to Dust + My Soul to Take + The Day is Dark
Price For All Three: £18.23

Buy the selected items together
  • My Soul to Take £5.99
  • The Day is Dark £5.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 1st Edition edition (22 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444700065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444700060
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Yrsa Sigurdardottir works as a civil engineer in Reykjavik. Her books for children have won prizes and great acclaim. Last Rituals is her first adult novel.

Product Description


A chilling read, enhanced by Sigurdardottir's taut plotting, realistic characters, and dry humour. (Metro Crime Books of the Year)

'Publishers and blurb writers are competing to hail the new monarch of Nordic crime fiction.. I would be tempted to offer a name not from the obvious crime soil of Sweden or Norway, but from bleak and moody Iceland...' (Marcel Berlins, The Times)

Stands comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world (TLS)

I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa's work. It's very engaging, fresh and exciting. (James Patterson (on LAST RITUALS))

She is entitled to join the front ranks of Nordic crime writers. (The Times)

A fascinating setting and realistic characters make this an engrossing read - and Sigurdardottir maintains the intrigue as her clever plot unravels (Metro)

Brilliantly plotted and chilling (Daily Mirror)

An absorbing mystery . . . Sigurdardottir makes the island under hot lava just as atmospherically chilling as she made Iceland's dark winters in her two prior novels (The Times)

Iceland's answer to Stieg Larsson (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Chilling Icelandic crime from the author of LAST RITUALS and MY SOUL TO TAKE

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Dust---Yrsa Sigurdardottir 24 July 2010
By Simon Clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ashes to Dust is the third novel featuring the engaging Reykjavik lawyer,
Thora Gudmundsdottir. It cannot be easy for the author to continue to
invent credible crime plots set in a largely crimeless society of just
over 300,000 people.Yet she pulls it off marvellously in what is her most
accomplished novel to date.
In 1973,in the Westmann Islands,some 100 miles off the Iceland mainland,
Eldfell volcano violently erupted leading to the evacuation of the islanders.
Thora is hired in 2007 by a client who is resisting excavation of his property.
When this resistance fails three bodies and a head are discovered in his basement
covered by volcanic dust.He becomes the suspect for these murders and a further
very recent one.The police seem convinced of his guilt so Thora carries out
her own investigations,only to find the locals unwilling to assist her.
This is a rich,lengthy,meticulously plotted story ,with plenty of surprises
along the way. Highly Recommended.
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underneath the lava 11 Mar 2012
By Sabina
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book on the strength of the positive reviews and because of the Icelandic setting. The latter was quite enticing, with the investigative action set between Reykjavik and the Westmann Islands, and depicting how the excavation of misdeeds covered up by the lava eruption there decades before, links up with a current murder in the capital. And what a murder - it is decribed in the first few pages in a chilling and original way.
The investigation leads lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir to contact a variety of people in her home town (a plastic surgeon, a tatooist, the self-important young police inspector) and to travel to the Islands with her free-spirited, goth secretary to meet relatives of the victim and suspect. She gets the sense that people are not telling her all they know. At one point she hires a fishing boat tour in order to get information from the knowledgeable guide, though squeamish about the business of killing fish or the puffin hunt they witness.
Back in Rekyavik there is a deeply troubled anorexic girl who is witness to someting to do with the murder.

But I found much of the book fairly enjoyable and then frustrating in turn. The author does not seem to credit her readers with enough wit, and insisits on going over the same details and over-explaining all the possible motives and her own dilemnas. Some of the 'clues' are so obvious, but surrounded by too much uninteresting filler that if it weren't for the 'Icelandic interest' I may have put the book aside. Tightening up the writing would have made this a much better book. I may give another Ysra Sigurdardottir a try sometime, but in the hope that the plot and writing are less sluggish and crisper.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this 22 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had put off reading reading "Ashes to Dust" even though I had enjoyed the author's first 2 books as I was discouraged by the negative reviews that I read. I changed my mind and decided to give it a go when I read that the plot was based in the Westmann Islands. As I have been to Iceland recently, I thought I would get something out of reading it even if it wasn't a great thriller. Much to my surprise, I really liked this book and read it in a couple of days. I personally am glad it was more focused on the plot and not as much time spent on Thea's boyfriend or children. I thought the plot was satisfyingly complex and was interested in the dynamics of a small Icelandic community that were portrayed in the book. I wouldn't really compare these thrillers to the "Millennium" trilogy or even the the Wallander series. They are simpler but still enjoyable to read. It will really depend on what you want from a thriller. If you like lots of action and gore, this is definitely not the book for you.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thora is becoming a little boring 10 Sep 2012
By cartoon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved the previous two books but I struggled with this story. I am finding Thora less and less sympathetic, there is little here about her boyfriend or children and so it almost seemed like the plot for a short story . Also I feel there is too much criticism of the secretary Bella , who I actually quite warm to [ the better thriller writers allow characters to develop over the series ] . Then after finding much of the book really really slow [ too much telling not showing ] the ending suddenly rushed as if she had had enough telling of the tale .
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clunky writing 23 Jan 2013
By Orna G
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books so far, but I have found the translation of the last few books to be annoyingly clunky. The stories themselves are wonderfully imaginative and really hook you in, as they are all gripping tales, but I'm sorry to say that I find the writing awkwardly put together and almost childish. I have no idea whether or not the translator is at fault, but it may appear that this is the case, as the writing lacks fluidity.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant setting - 125 pages too long 24 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Iceland, and contemporary Icelandic novels are hard to come by (read all Arnoldur Indridason's) so I keep buying work by Yrsa Sigurdadottir. Great setting - geographically and historically. Bella is light relief (I have a mental image of a dumpy version of the Ghost Busters' scretary Janine!) , but Yrsa needs a 'critical friend' (or editor) to get her to tighten this up, cut some of the lengthier passages that go nowhere - suspect this would increase the tension. Not a bad novel, but could have been better.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that has entralled my wife
I don't recall how I alighted on this author but I am glad I did.
My wife has read it from cover to cover and declared it a very good read. So that is a recommendation. Read more
Published 14 days ago by MR RICHARD C NASH
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Book 3, in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series

I don’t know why I put this author on the back burner for such a long time. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Toni Osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars The troubles reflected in an exciting and humorous way.
Very good read, particularly for those readers with an interest in the troubles of Ireland.
Told in both a sometimes graphic and humorous narrative, the story is a must as a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Gibbs
2.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous, obvious and very long
Ashes to Dust is a long book, made longer by a ponderous story that goes to considerable and uninteresting lengths to veil the obvious whodunnit. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this series
Great characterisation, quirky plot. I really enjoyed this series and especially like the feisty heroine and her honest attempt to get through life and balance work and family... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Daveyboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Well written crime thriller. I love the descriptions of the landscape and the climate, living where I do I can really relate to that Since discovering her I've read all of her... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lucy Helen MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting new voice from Iceland
Interesting and different, heroine is a lawyer with nice sense of humour. Enjoyed the Icelandic voice, a new experience for me and the plots are well thought out. Most amusing.
Published 8 months ago by Ms. Nicolette Meeres
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Dust
I am working my way through this author's books, featuring the attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir in stories that always seem to feature something of the weird and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Keen Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation?
I enjoyed the first two books in the series and so bought and read this one - and the following one. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting
Couldn't put it down - a real page turner of a murder mystery. Especially good if you've been to Iceland - it's motivated me to visit again!
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category