Iceland, midwinter: the days are fleeting, the nights endless and detective Magnus Jonson has been sent to an isolated fishing village in the West Fjords to investigate the possible homicide of a road construction worker. Ringed by steep mountains, this bleak village is cut off from the rest of Iceland and from the modern world. The locals are adamant that Iceland’s legendary — hidden people — had a hand in the death. Magnus finds their superstition suspicious... As he digs deeper, Magnus discovers that the victim was not a popular man, leading him to suspect that other, more human, passions are at work...
When a polar bear is sighted in a sleepy Icelandic fishing village, then shot dead by local policeman Constable Halldr, it triggers a debate in the local community. Was Halldr a hero for killing the bear, or should the animal have been protected?
Animal rights activists in the area see the constable as a villain, and when days later the dead body of Halldr is discovered at a remote beauty spot, the activists are immediately under suspicion.
As Sergeant Magnus Ragnarsson and his colleague Detective Vigds Audardtti begin to investigate the policeman’s murder, they soon discover that things are not as clear-cut as might first appear. By degrees, Magnus and Vigds are drawn into this small and complex community — one riven with rivalries and grudges — in search of a deadly killer...
October, 1939: War has been declared, but until the armies massed on either side of the French — German border engage, all is quiet on the Western Front.
There are those who believe the war no one wants to fight should be brought to a swift conclusion, even if it means treachery.
A year ago, Conrad de Lancey came within seconds of assassinating Hitler. Now the British Secret Service want him to go back into Europe and make contact with a group of German officers they believe are plotting a coup.
But this is the Shadow War, and the shadows are multiplying: it’s not only disaffected Germans who are prepared to betray their country to save it…
It is 1999. Alastair is a doctor in his eighties, living in a cottage by a loch in Scotland. He wakes up in hospital having fallen and hit his head, inducing almost total amnesia. A young student, Clémence, the great-niece of a French friend of his, is looking after him.
In his cottage, Clémence finds a manuscript. The first line shocks her: It was a warm, still night and the cry of a tawny owl swirled through the birch trees by the loch, when I killed the only woman I have ever loved. She read the short prologue: it describes a murder by someone who is clearly the old doctor. The victim is Clémence’s French grandmother, Sophie.
Clémence decides to read the book to the old doctor as it describes how he and his friends met Sophie in Paris in 1935. As they read on, the relationship between the student and the old man turns from horror and shame to trust and compassion. Which is fortunate, because there are people closing in on the cottage by the loch who are willing to kill to make sure that the old man’s secrets stay forgotten.
When an old college friend pays Alex Calder an unexpected visit he is drawn once more into the shady dealings of the City — and in particular back to Bloomfield Weiss, the investment bank he’d hoped he’d left well behind.
For Kim is married to Todd van Zyl, son of South African newspaper tycoon Cornelius van Zyl. Todd wants Alex’s help to investigate the murder of his mother, shot at a game reserve near Cape Town eighteen years ago.
Todd had always believed his mother was killed by guerrillas — but the recent discovery of a letter written by her shortly before her death now suggests a crime far closer to home. And it seems Alex’s old enemy at Bloomfield Weiss holds the key to the mystery.
Unfortunately Todd’s suspicions have stirred up a nest of vipers — with deadly repercussions...
Paul Murray is an ex-Olympic runner, so his training is perfect for the rigors of bond trading for a London financial house. The pace is breakneck, the smell of success intoxicating. Paul has really found a home here, and maybe even the love of his life in his colleague Debbie Chater-until her lifeless body is dragged from the Thames.
After young venture capitalist Simon Ayot finds his father-in-law lying dead from a gunshot wound, and all the damning evidence points to Simon. With the police determined to prove his guilt, and even his grief-stricken wife beginning to suspect him, he races to clear his name and save his marriage-all too aware that the next murder may very well be his own…
"Move over, John Grisham. A new star has entered the world of popular action fiction." -Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan
"Michael Ridpath plots his story tightly and smoothly and roams all his worlds, virtual and otherwise, with authority."-New York Times
"[Ridpath] makes you feel… the thrill of playing a hunch and getting it right."-Los Angeles Times
"Entertaining…Succeeds at becoming more than a thriller without breaking the mounting tensions of the story." -Newsday
Iceland 1934: Two boys playing in the lava fields that surround their isolated farmsteads see something they shouldn't have. The consequences will haunt them and their families for generations. Iceland 2009: the credit crunch bites. The currency has been devalued, banks nationalized, savings annihilated, lives ruined. Grassroots revolution is in the air, as is the feeling that someone ought to pay…ought to pay the blood price. And in a country with a population of just 300,000 souls, in a country where everyone knows everybody, it isn't hard to draw up a list of exactly who is responsible. And then, one-by-one, to cross them off. Iceland 2010: As bankers and politicians start to die, at home and abroad, it is up to Magnus Jonson to unravel the web of conspirators before they strike again. But while Magnus investigates the crimes of the present, the crimes of the past are catching up with him.