24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific police procedural uncovering deep family mysteries
Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson's first AmazonCrossing title, The Flatey Enigma, was great fun if a rather implausible whodunit. This second one, House of Evidence, was originally published in Icelandic 4 years earlier (in 1998) than The Flatey Enigma, but is a much better book in all respects. Its scenario is fascinating - the progress of an Icelandic family against the...
Published on 14 Dec 2012 by Brian J. Cox
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous start but loses itself towards the middle
I have to agree with most of the other 3* reviewers for House of Evidence. Starts well. For the first 100+ pages I was enthralled by the novel. I'm a fan of railway history and that helped because a key feature of the plot concerns the potentional building of a railway in Iceland. I enjoyed following the history of the Keiller family as the narrative dips in and out of a...
Published 23 months ago by JK
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4.0 out of 5 stars A classical Scandinavian atmospheric.,
Mr. Ingolfsson blends the past and the present together to give a fascinating insight into what an all encompassing obsession can do to everyday lives. As seems to be the norm in these cold clime novels the sun shines briefly and the script is definite film noir. The detectives involved in the investigation are faceless shadows and don't dominate. The novel is also a bit of a history lesson and I still don't know if Iceland has a railway system or not. No doubt Google will answer this for me. Spare a thought for poor Halle if only Jacob Seniors plans had reached fruition. Great read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like father, like son,
This review is from: House of Evidence (Paperback)
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All books Scandanavian must be worthy of our interest or, at least Amazon think so. This book was first published in 1998 and only now comes before us in English. In fact, it's not half bad.
I read and enjoyed another of the author's books, "The Flatey Enigma" which impressed me with the way the story was constructed.
This, then, is almost as good. Perhaps it rambles a little here and there but since the story is set in Iceland in 1973, the fact that it has just been translated is no detriment. There is a back story, too, in the form of a series of diaries written by a man who was the father of the victim we meet in chapter one, a bullet in his chest, bleeding his life away on the parlour floor.
And so begins a murder hunt, compounded by the fact that the man's father was found dead in exactly the same manner in 1945.
This is very much a police procedural. Clues are sparse, potential suspects are soon eliminated and, although the main story gathers pace slowly, there is much in the recounting of the diaries which interests the reader.
World War II has its inevitable fall out which, as far as this story is concerned, affects the chances of our main protagonist ever building a railway in Iceland. But there is so much more lying hidden in and amongst both stories.
The author recreates the atmosphere well, Iceland in 1973 seems to have stretched much further back than I remember England in that year. Events move slowly and yet the author manages to keep the interest flowing with snippets here, possible clues there, all of which come to nothing until the very end of the book. Just as it should be in a good whodunit and don't overlook the author's notes at the end of the book. I normally give up half way through when we find the author thanking his hamster for keeping the wheels turning but in this case, it does explain the very last paragraph of the book - and you need to know if you're in the least bit curious.
One final comment about the translation. Both of the translators are either English or fluent in English and I have no gripe about that. The translation is excellent except, here we are again with this ghastly Americanism `gotten' which does not feature in English (pardon my pedant friends who remind me of ill-gotten gains but this is old English). I blame the editor or maybe the proof reader but, either way, I was taught never to use get or nice so gotten is nicely irritating and spoils the flow of the reading - well, for me, anyway.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story but ploddingly written or translated - hard to ...,
Interesting story but ploddingly written or translated - hard to say which. I got to the end - which was rather clever - but a bit of a slog getting there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars,
Creepy and good
4.0 out of 5 stars House of obsession,
From a personal perspective I like ingolfssons style. He tries to bring something different to crime fiction which all too often is rather formulaic. In this book the characters are well established, the plot holds the readers attention but the only problem is the conclusion. Quite simply the book ends too quickly once the detectives start to understand what has happened. The resolution is unsatisfactory and detracts from an otherwise good read.
3.0 out of 5 stars dark mystery,
having visited Iceland I thought I would enjoy this novel set mostly in that country but the continual switching from one century to another made it difficult to unravel the mystery. The railway history (or lack of it) was not made interesting and went on interminably. Ended up speed reading the last 10 chapters (there were lots of chapters) to find out the ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable,
I enjoyed the content of the book and will recommend but I didn't like the americanisation of the translation. For instance 'gotten'.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read,
The book was good but a little drawn out in places....once you get into it, the story is a good one with an unexpected ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive read.,
well I had a few ideas about killer..wrong. interesting. characters very realistic. the interplay between them made good reading for me
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book,
I enjoyed reading this book and would definately read more books by this Author.It was easy to read and follow
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House of Evidence by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson (Paperback - 11 Dec 2012)