The Day Is Dark

The Day Is Dark, the fourth book in Yrsa Sigurdardóttir's series featuring Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, takes the Icelandic lawyer and her significant other, Matthew Reich, on an adventure to the east coast wilderness of Greenland, where Reich's bank is investigating the disappearance of two Icelanders working on a mining project. The remaining project workers refuse to return to the job site, claiming the area is cursed, leaving Reich's bank on the line to pay out a contractual insurance claim. When Thóra, Matthew and the team they are traveling with arrive, they discover there may be more to the curse claim than meets the eye. The two workers aren't the first people to go missing from this area--and they may not be the last.

The cold, dark environs of Greenland parallel the tone and title of The Day Is Dark. The chilling effect of the novel is almost as strong physically as it is psychologically. The spiritual tones woven throughout add a layer of complexity to the plot. Sigurdardóttir's treatment of this spirituality is both respectful and intriguing, with the contrast between the science and the myth beckoning readers to challenge their own beliefs.

The prose is at times awkward and wordy, but this may be attributable in part to the translation, and the dark beauty of the story is still clear. Scandinavian thriller fans looking for a variation on their usual fix need look no further. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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