Murder, corruption and financial meltdown in Iceland's rural backwaters.
The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that propels the village of Hvalvik's police sergeant Gunnhildur into deep waters.
Although under pressure to deal with the matter quickly, she is suspicious that the man's death was no accident and once she has identified the body, sets about investigating his final hours.The case takes Gunnhildur away from her village and into a cosmopolitan world of shady deals, government corruption and violence. She finds herself alone and less than welcome in this hostile environment as she tries to find out who it was that made sure the young man drowned on a dark night one hundred kilometres from where he should have been - and why.
A meticulously constructed thriller, peopled with exceptionally convincing characters and shot through with black humour. Frozen Out is as chilling as an Icelandic winter.
Well written and absorbing. - Woman's Way
He has the requisite nous. - Good Book Guide
[A] crackling fiction debut ... palpable authenticity. - Publishers Weekly
British author Bates captures the chilly spirit of Nordic crime fiction in what is the apparent start of a promising series with a distinctly appealing protagonist. Fans of Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik mysteries will want to add Bates to their reading lists. - Booklist
...his blistering debut reads more like an American procedural than the British product, right down to a denouement as acridly unsatisfying as today's headlines. - Kirkus Reviews
Quentin Bates made his escape from suburbia at the end of the seventies as a gap year turned into a gap decade spent in the north of Iceland. He worked ashore and at sea before returning to England and, once finally ashore for good, drifted by accident into journalism.
Finally the lure of fiction became too strong to resist. Sergeant Gunnhildur and the series of novels she features in have their origins in a deep affection for Iceland and its people, and an intimate knowledge of Icelandic society and its language, customs and quirks.
Today he divides his time between the north of Iceland and the south of England, translating books from Icelandic in addition to working on his own fiction.