Book Review: Thin Ice – Quentin Bates

They say that practice makes perfect. Thin Ice might just be the proof that this is really is the case. Thin Ice is the seventh appearance of Officer Gunnhildur at the hands of Quentin Bates, and each book improves on the last. Quentin is also the translator of the increasingly popular Dark Ice series from Ragnar Jónasson, something which can only have sharpened his crime writing skills.

There is a disclaimer to be inserted here. I know Quentin, and he was kind enough to proof read my own book (and offer some face-saving advice to boot). That doesn’t stop me providing an honest review of Thin Ice.

Thin Ice concentrates on Gunna and crew unraveling another difficult case, and although I suspect that Police in Iceland have a significantly easier time than both Quentin or Ragnar would have you believe, the story is always plausible with realism and plenty of coffee with everything! The Police procedure is also delivered with integrity; there are no heroics here, no skipping of paperwork – Gunna even applies for a warrant at one point and CCTV isn’t always crystal clear. This brings a pleasing resonance to the whole thing.

Similarly with the criminal element – Össur especially – scenes are descriptive and entirely believable. There is a hint of the dark humour of Fargo when their car grinds to a halt on a snow drift.

Does it matter that Quentin isn’t Icelandic? Not a jot. He’s spent so much time there he might as well be. His knowledge of Icelanders and Iceland help him deliver a truly remarkable and wholly satisfying example of Icelandic Noir. I’ll raise a cup of hot, black coffee to that!