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Cold Comfort (Gunnhildur Mystery 2) [Paperback]

Quentin Bates
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

15 Mar 2012 Gunnhildur Mystery 2
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 Reykjavík 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. ...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

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Cold Comfort (Gunnhildur Mystery 2) + Chilled to the Bone (Gunnhildur Mystery 3) + Frozen Out
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849013616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849013611
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Superior crime fiction set in Iceland... this is a well constructed, well written and satisfying police procedural --Marcel Berlins, The Times

Book Description

Detective Gunnhildur sets to investigate two seemingly separate cases, but uncovers some disturbing links. Top class crime writing set in Icleand.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Series 3 April 2012
This is the second in the series by Quentin Bates featuring Sergeant Gunnhildur, otherwise known as Gunna, and is set in Iceland. The first book; Frozen Out was published in January 2011, you can read my review of it here.

Cold Comfort was published by Constable Robinson in March of this year. Gunna has been promoted and is now working in the Serious Crime Unit in the capital city of Reykjavik, a big change from her previous posting in a small, slow-moving town.
Gunna finds herself heading up two separate crime investigations, at least they seem to be pretty separate at first, but deeper investigation soon turns up quite a few links between the cases. The first case seems pretty straight forward; a prison inmate has escaped and is dealing out his own form of punishment to his old acquaintances. The second case is a murder - a C list celebrity who has been discovered murdered in her flat.
As with Frozen Out, this is a well thought out story, with an intricate and well woven plot line. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, I enjoyed getting to know a little more about Gunna (although she's very close, and doesn't reveal much). Just one minor issue for me, as with the first novel, is the long Icelandic names of the characters. It's very easy to get them muddled up, many of them sound the same and look the same, and it was quite some time into the novel before I got to grips with just who is who.

This certainly does not spoil the book at all. Gunna is a great heroine and the tantalising glimpses into her past history and her current private life certainly set the reader up for more to come in this series.

I will certainly be following Gunna's next move and look forward to more in the series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reykjavik's finest? 26 Aug 2012
Nick-named `Graskeggur' by his Icelandic grandmother, as the letter `Q' doesn't exist in Icelandic, Quentin Bates is a writer for an obscure nautical magazine. Thankfully, he is a talented fiction writer, and not just adept to explaining port from starboard.
Cold Comfort is his second work of fiction, and once more features Sergeant Gunnhildur as she investigates crimes, this time in modern day Reykjavík. Gunnhildur also has a team, I should add, but the book is hung around her as the central character. Gunnhildur is investigating the murder of a fitness guru / slight shady local celebrity Svana Geirs, whilst at the same time chasing an escaped convict. There are some other goings on, but I'm not about to reveal them, nor any more of the plot either.
Gunnhildur is a more than plausible character, with a back-story and intimate details (for example, some suggestive texts on her mobile phone) to back this up. Her world, too, feels realistic and is a well-portrayed slice of Reykjavik life, complete with post-financial crisis nuances, such as her unit being short-staffed and her on-going battle to get to her rightful pay grade. Further nods to Reykjavik life lie within the importance of iPhones and Blackberrys, the near constant drinking of coffee and in case you should forget, the ubiquitous `Hę' at the start of each conversation.
Is this just another piece of Nordic Noir Crime writing? No, I don't think so. I think Bates has sidestepped that genre, the world of Jo Nesbų and Arnaldur Indrišason. Instead he chooses a more traditional set of rules and plot lines, and serves it with a portion of dark humour. The combination is one which feels like right. It doesn't feel as bombastic or drawn out as the aforementioned crime writers; it has a more gentle, real life feel to it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Likeable people 25 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gunnhildur, her family, colleagues and boss are likeable people. The boss is supportive. This is unlike so many crime novels where the main character is flawed, others antagonistic etc. The story is good and overall just a good, interesting read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COLD COMFORT 22 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
good story, excellent atmosphere well- worth reading It brings the feel of the country and its inhabitants into sharp focus
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Comfort--Quentin Bates 2 April 2012
By Simon Clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is much to enjoy in this second novel featuring
the fascinating Sergeant Gunnhildur.She has been moved
from her rural post to head-up a new serious crime unit
in the capital,Reykjavik.
She and her small team are faced with both tracking down
a violent escaped prisoner,and dealing with the murder of
a female socialite TV personality.As the somewhat complex
plot develops ,figures in the political and business elite
become suspects.
Aside from an engaging plot, this novel touches on the many
ways in which the financial crash affected the whole rubric
of Iceland and its citizens,and also there is the marvellous
character of Gunnhildur-caring,sharp and witty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 13 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed it but I agree with the other reviewers about the difficulties with names. Since this is intended for English speaking audiences maybe the author shoul choose some simpler Icelandic names in future
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Kindle Read! 10 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading about Iceland and enjoy Bates' books, but I find something less than realistic as I read. Maybe due to a man writing about a woman's feelings or emotions. Yet, I have enjoyed the first two books in his Gunnhildur series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT READ 21 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the latest Gunna. Fast moving, well crafted and gives the other Icelandic crime books a serious run for their money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A policewoman to believe in
I gave Gunna 4 stars in her first outing, but I am giving her 5 stars after the second volume in the series because I am so taken with her character. Read more
Published 19 days ago by jecadebu
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably quite good
I think this book might be quite good, but I was utterly defeated by the names that I couldn't pronounce and couldn't remember. I gave up.
Published 6 months ago by John S
4.0 out of 5 stars A good detective novel
I have enjoyed reading both of these so far. They are well written and good plots. The only difficulty I have is with all of the Icelandic names, so I forget who some of the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Laurie Feather
2.0 out of 5 stars Cold Comfort
I confess that I abandoned this book about half-way through. There are so many characters, many with triple-barrelled names but who are also known under some other name. Read more
Published 7 months ago by T. King
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
A great read, Quentin Bate combines an obvious affection for Iceland and its society with the ability to write a gripping and multi-layered detective story.
Published 8 months ago by Andrew Long
4.0 out of 5 stars a new heroine
Liked the characters and a fun read. They were real and added to the story without detracting from the mystery. Will definitely read more,
Published 10 months ago by jay jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Icelandic murders
Enjoyed all three books I've read, on a Kindle. A map would have been really handy - had to create one for myself, and upload it, as a pdf, to the Kindle.
Published 11 months ago by KMO
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing with a twist
Nicely done Mr. Bates. Thoroughly enjoyed my second Gunna novel, as ever I struggled with the names a little but loved the characters, the pace and the red herrings. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ian's wifey
3.0 out of 5 stars Iceland lite
There is a passion for Scandanavian detectives - but thing is, they work better is the writer is, well, Scandanavian! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jennifertapir
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Comfort
This is written well and has a real taste of Iceland, the cold blustery weather and the hard living up yonder.
Published 11 months ago by petedb
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