Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Soul To Take

My Soul To Take 
Author: Yrsa Sigurdardóttir
William Morrow, 2009
352 pages

My Soul To Take is the second book in an enthralling series featuring Reykjavik-based attorney Thora Guðmundsdóttir. I accidentally read this series out of order, starting with the fourth book The Day is Dark -- but I read the first, Last Rituals, earlier this year.

This time around, Thora's at a New Age spa on the west coast of Iceland -- not of her own volition, but at the request of a Jonas, the spa's owner. Jonas wants to sue the former owners of the property for their failure to disclose that the property includes . . . a ghost. And the ghost is having a negative impact on the business.

Just as Thora's getting settled (and having a nice massage in the spa), the body of a dead woman is found on the shore. Turns out the woman is the architect Jonas hired to design a second building -- and she wasn't exactly popular with the staff or in the community. When police find evidence that implicates Jonas as a murder suspect, Thora shifts to investigator mode, enlisting Matthew (her German 'boyfriend') to help out. There's no lack of other suspects, including an old politician with a secret past; a jealous wife; and a local farmer.

But wait. Soon there's another murder, and suddenly nothing is quite as it seems. Is this place really haunted? Or cursed, perhaps? Thora must look back to the past to find out what's going on the present . . . to hopefully prevent any more murders in the future.

This series is one of my current favorites. Yrsa's descriptions of the otherworldly landscape, combined with her amazing ability to weave history and culture into a crime thriller, have put Iceland at the top of my 'Places I Must Visit' list. And I hope to do just that very soon! :)