Synopses & Reviews
"I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa's work. It's very engaging, fresh, and exciting." -- James Patterson
"Iceland's crime queen." --The Scotsman
One of the finest Nordic crime writers working today, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir has been published to rave reviews worldwide. Now, with Ashes to Dust, she delivers a dynamite and timely thriller set at the site of a volcano.
In 1973, a volcanic eruption buried an entire Icelandic village in lava and ash. Now, hoping to make some cash, a crew is assembled to excavate the site and turn it into a tourist destination. Markús, who was a teenager when the volcano erupted, enlists the help of attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to try to prevent the excavation from going forward.
When the digging continues and three fresh bodies (and a spare head) turn up in the basement of Markús childhood home, Thóra begins to question Markús motives for wanting to stop the excavation. His explanation for the bodies is complicated, and the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up. As Markús story begins to unravel, Thóra finds herself with an impossible task, defending Markús while trying to solve a quadruple murder that may very well implicate her client.
With unforgettable characters, unexpected twists, and superb psychological suspense, Ashes to Dust is a riveting thriller from a new international star.
"SigurdardÃ³ttir's excellent third thriller featuring lawyer ThÃ³ra GudmundsdÃ³ttir should win this talented Icelandic author new fans. In 1973, a volcanic eruption on Iceland's Heimaey Island buried a number of houses in lava, including that of MarkÃºs Magnusson, who was 15 at the time. In 2007, an excavation of his childhood home reveals three bodies and a severed head that appear to be decades old. MarkÃºs tells the police he knows nothing about the bodies, but the single person who could have verified his version of events is found dead, her apparent suicide soon revealed as murder. With the searchlight of suspicion cast on his affairs, MarkÃºs must rely on ThÃ³ra, his determined lawyer, to defend his interests. SiggurdardÃ³ttir uses Iceland's past and present to full effect in this tale of hidden crimes and family secrets. Even those unfamiliar with this volcanic island nation will find themselves entranced." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Ashes to Dust
"Excellent... Sigurdardóttir uses Icelands past and present to full effect in this tale of hidden crimes and family secrets. Even those unfamiliar with this volcanic island nation will find themselves entranced."
--Publishers Weekly (starred)
"Buried under all the volcanic ash, false trails and endless recriminations is a puzzle whose grim solution is worthy of Stieg Larsson."
"This darkly atmospheric psychological suspense is full of unusual characters, as well as numerous surprising twists and turns."
"A fine mix of crime and vividly realized landscape."
"Icelandic volcanic explosion provides a timely background... the chaos and panic caused by the 1973 eruption are vividly evoked in Yrsa Sigurdardóttir's novel."
--The Independent (UK)
"A fascinating setting and realistic characters make this an engrossing read -- and Sigurdardóttir maintains the intrigue as her clever plot unravels."
--Metro (UK) Praise for the Novels of Yrsa Sigurdardóttir
“Icelands answer to Stieg Larsson.”
--The Telegraph (UK)
“Stands comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world.”
--The Times Literary Supplement (UK)
"Sigurdardóttir delivers terrific clammy atmosphere and frequent frissons of fear; she is entitled to join the front rank of Nordic crime writers."
--The Times (UK)
"Brilliantly plotted and chilling."
--The Daily Mirror (UK)
Praise for Last Rituals
“Thora is an attractive heroine; shes practical, capable and intelligent as well as having a dry sense of humor and an enquiring mind….Shes curious about everything.”
Prasie for My Soul to Take
“The writing is distinguished by superb evocations of extraordinary landscapes.”
--The Independent (UK)
“Icelandic attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is a clever and astute woman, and a welcome addition to the pantheon of fictional female investigators.”
--RT Book Reviews (four stars)
Named One of the Years Top Ten Crime Books in the UK…
A Masterwork of Suspense from "Icelands Crime Queen" (The Scotsman)
In 1973, a volcanic eruption buried an entire Icelandic village in lava and ash. Now this macabre tourist attraction proves deadly once again—when the discovery of fresh bodies casts a shadow of suspicion onto Markus Magnusson, a man accused of killing his childhood sweetheart. His attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir finds that her client has a most inventive story to tell. But the locals seem oddly reluctant to back him up…
Filled with unforgettable characters, unexpected twists, and superb psychological suspense, Ashes to Dust is a superlative thriller from an acclaimed master of Nordic fiction.
About the Author
YRSA SIGURDARDOTTIR lives with her family in Reykjavík; she is also a director of one of Iceland's largest engineering firms.