Thora is immediately intrigued though startled when she learns Harald was involved with sorcery, self-mutilation and erotic asphyxiation. She is shaken when she finds Harald’s eyes have been extracted after death and a mysterious symbol carved on his body.
Harald has had a long interest in witchcraft. He has come to
to compare witchcraft trials in Iceland and with Iceland Europe, especially . Germany has been different in that most of those tried and executed were men while on the continent it was women. Iceland
It is a macabre subject that is reflected in Harald’s life. He has had a deep personal interest in sorcery. What he has done to his tongue made me flinch when I read the passage. While definitions of normal are difficult I have no hesitation in calling Harald abnormal.
The contrast could not be greater with Thora’s personal life. She has a sunny 6 year old and a moody teenager. They are living average lives far from the dark world of Harald and his friends.
The investigation is well done. Thora and Matthew work well together assessing information and conducting interviews.
Those book reviewers who have described the mystery as creepy are accurate.
Sorcery is not an area of history I have pursued. The mystery did not whet my interest. We do not have to look back centuries to find investigations into alleged black arts. A couple of years ago I read The Butcher’s Tale by Helmut Walser Smith. It was a non-fiction book studied by my younger son, Michael, at university for a history course. It involves the murder of a young man in 1900 in
and the belief of many villagers that he was killed by a Jewish resident as a ritual killing for blood. Belief in the blood libel persisted into the 20th Century. I will be posting a review of the book later this year. East Prussia
I will read more of Sigurdardottir’s books. Thora is an engaging character. The history of
featured prominently in the book. Iceland
I have had difficulty categorizing the book on whether it is a legal mystery. Normally I think of legal mysteries as really courtroom trial mysteries. I have arbitrarily decided for myself that legal mysteries are books involving practising lawyers and are not limited to courtroom dramas. (Sept. 28/11)