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33 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and creepy
This is the 4th novel featuring the solicitor Thora Gudmundsdottir. The Day is Dark is set mainly in Greenland during the winter months. In October Oddny Hildur, an employee of Berg Technology goes missing then the following March all contact is lost with the 2 remaining workers on the site. Thora, now in a relationship with Matthew Reilly, Head of Security for...
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by I Readalot

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars running out of steam
In her desperation for fresh subject matter, the author has this time turned to Greenland although her view of the locals is unfortunately very cliched. Their old ways are dying out; the tradition of hunting seals is condemned by the "civilised" countries; unemployment, alcoholism and depression are rampant. We also have to put up with a lot of mumbo jumbo about...
Published 4 months ago by pierre


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and creepy, 3 Nov 2011
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
This is the 4th novel featuring the solicitor Thora Gudmundsdottir. The Day is Dark is set mainly in Greenland during the winter months. In October Oddny Hildur, an employee of Berg Technology goes missing then the following March all contact is lost with the 2 remaining workers on the site. Thora, now in a relationship with Matthew Reilly, Head of Security for Kaupthing Bank is called in to investigate as the bank has a financial interest in the project which is being undertaken for a British company. She goes to Greenland with Matthew and her annoying secretary Bella. It is a very creepy and atmospheric novel set in an inhospitable landscape which increases the sense of menace to the characters. Just like with Jo Nesbo, the 'Stieg Larsson' tag is not particularly helpful. Sigurdardottir is nothing like Larsson and I find her books far more compelling and better written. It also makes a change to have a female solicitor as the main protagonist as opposed to the hard bitten detective. She is a single mother and now a grandmother thanks to her teenage son but her personal life does not get in the way of the action. Although Bella really irritates Thora I like her as she adds an extra dynamic including humour to the office scenes and, in this novel, to the work in the field. Different to most of the other Nordic crime around but just as enjoyable.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Day is Dark, 15 Aug 2011
By 
E. A. Escritt (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
An intriguing story that takes the reader to Greenland - a part of the world not visited by many. The characters and the ramifications of the mystery make for compelling reading. As a sequel to Ýrsa Sigurðardóttir's three previous novels the book reveals more of the central character, Thóra, and her annoying assistant, Bella.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this on your own or at night, 27 Nov 2012
By 
T. Jackson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir crime series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
It's very, very frightening. I love Yrsa Sigurdardottir - her crime fiction books are excellent too. This book scared me and it was so well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable series, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir crime series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
I really like this series and our heroine, this one is not as good as the first but still very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Day is Dark, 21 Aug 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
This is another in the wonderful series featuring Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an Icelandic lawyer. In this story, she is asked by Matthew, her partner to assist his bank with a claim between a mining company and a technology company. The excavations being carried out by the mining company in Greenland have been halted after employees of the technology company have refused to return to work at the isolated camp along the Greenlandic east coast. Thóra's better judgment would suggest she look for somewhere warm and sunny to go, but she wants to help Matthew out, so she joins the team of specialists heading to Greenland. What they find there is mystery, legend, murder, history and a lot of strange circumstances that add up to a great story.

The books of Yrsa Sigurdardottir are all, I have found, brilliant. She has written a couple of stand-alone books, but there are now a number of books in the series featuring Thóra. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the books that I have read by this author, and I look forward to many more. Thóra is a great character, and her family, and her relationsihp with Matthew, with Bella and Bragi at the law firm, and the interactions of all the characters are witty and warm. The other characters that appear in this story are well-drawn and `real', many not likeable at all, but they are human and these stories are about humans at their best, and their worst. Totally recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, atmospheric, complex, 28 Dec 2012
By 
ladyguinevere (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
I read "Last Rituals" previously and was disappointed by that, so was worried I would be disappointed again, but enjoyed this book much better. The ending didn't disappoint like it did in "Last Rituals", and the threads were all pulled together fairly well in the end. I am a sucker for anything Icelandic or Greenlandic, so the combination here was right up my alley, so I found the setting perfect. Reading this late at night, I even found myself seriously creeped out a few times, which doesn't happen often with me and books, so that was a nice little thrill. The plot was complex and just when I thought something would turn out to be predictable, a new angle would appear, which was nice. I have to say that I am not overly impressed with the main character, Thora, who seems slightly cold or nasty to me, and the excuse for why she's there in the first place seemed a little weak to me, but I was willing to overlook that for the sake of the rest of the story. Some of the dialogue seemed stilted and unrealistic to me, but as other reviewers have mentioned, it's hard to tell if that might be down to translation or not. Overall, it was a quick, enjoyable and atmospheric read for me which managed to smoothly combine supernatural folklore with more down-to-earth modern crime investigation.
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2.0 out of 5 stars running out of steam, 26 July 2014
This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
In her desperation for fresh subject matter, the author has this time turned to Greenland although her view of the locals is unfortunately very cliched. Their old ways are dying out; the tradition of hunting seals is condemned by the "civilised" countries; unemployment, alcoholism and depression are rampant. We also have to put up with a lot of mumbo jumbo about evil spirits and a particularly bleak and hostile landscape. I just hope this book doesn't add to the high suicide rates! This uninspiring, tedious volume is by far the worst of the four Sigurdardottir books which I've read up to now. Her franchise is definitely running out of steam and her publisher needs to tone down the hype.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but can do better, 1 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir crime series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
It was 'fine'. A bit disappointing tho' because I've read the author's previous books and was expecting more rounded characters and greater tension. I didn't engage with the characters but merely observed them. It was nearly there but it seemed that the author baulked at going for a more vivid, theatrical, entertainment and made do with something much more anodyne,

Odd - it's like anticipating a big bag of steaming, salty, chips but you end up with a plate of carrot sticks instead.

It passed the time but the author can do better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can there be a murder investigation without a body?, 30 Mar 2012
By 
Richard Latham (Burton on Trent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Paperback)
An enthralling mystery and engaging thriller that unsettles you as you read on with fear and expectation.

Set in an isolated settlement in Eastern Greenland the story captures the sense of danger from the environment - is this what killed the three missing workers?

A private investigation is undertaken by the bank that has underwritten the project when the drilling company seem unable to continue and meet their contractual obligations.

Major themes are covered. Our impact on the environment, loss of indigenous peoples' heritage and traditions, global warming and faith. Less grand but equally influencing communities subjects around workplace bullying, sexual harassment, alcoholism, domestic abuse and relationships are also covered.

The author is faithful to the place, its people and its past in an account that is well paced, with tension and suspense.

A beautifully crafted story that is a compelling read and a true whodunit.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 24 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Day is Dark (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir crime series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
This book is different and I have given it a star rating to reflect that. It is original and its setting is a refreshing change from the run of the mill, but the translation makes it a heavy read and the characters do not come to life in the same way as some other Scandinavian thrillers I have read. But I am slowly getting into it and intend to press on to the end.
Update.
I have now finished. I admit having to struggle. It was a change to be transported to an unusual setting in Greenland, but the characters, including the lead, were very dull and never did quite come to life. The bleak background did not help and the lessons in the strange local folklore and reclusive inhabitants further deepened the felling that reading this was a chore rather than an escape. If this Thora woman is going to have another outing in this series as lawyer detective, she is going need to become a whole lot more interesting.
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