Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Bernard Scudder
There's always been a trend of UK publishers buying up the rights to translated versions of foreign crime novels and recently their attention seems to have focussed more on Scandinavia.

Taking place in Iceland, Last Rituals is the first book of a series that benefits from that interest and I was intrigued by the sound of it - a body is found with all kinds of arcane sigils carved into it and the eyes removed, all of which seems to be related to the dead man's interest in the history of Icelandic witchcraft.

The dead man also happens to be part of a wealthy German family, who are determined to find out exactly what happened. They send a representative to Iceland who enlists the help of our protagonist, Thora, a lawyer who desperately needs the money and is therefore prepared to become involved in something slightly outside of her usual purview. The author is clearly pushing for some kind of romantic sub-plot as well between these two, but sadly (to my mind at least) they have about as much chemistry as two dead fish.

It's always difficult to judge a translated novel, since I have no idea whether the way it's translated reflects the overall tone of the original work. Sadly, I found Last Rituals a dull read with unsympathetic characters and gave up about halfway through - the series continues with [b:My Soul to Take|6260575|My Soul to Take|Yrsa Sigurðardóttir||6443735], but I think I've had enough...