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House of Evidence Kindle Edition
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|Length: 399 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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More About the Author
Viktor Arnar has published six mysteries, the fifth of which, "Daybreak" in 2005, was the basis for the Icelandic TV series "Hunting Men," which premiered in 2008. His short stories have appeared in magazines and collections. His third novel, "Engin Spor" ("House of Evidence"), was nominated for the Glass Key prize, an award given by the Crime Writers Association of Scandinavia, in 2001, and "Flateyjargáta" ("The Flatey Enigma") was nominated for the same prize in 2004.
Top Customer Reviews
Jacob Kieler Junior has been found shot in the same parlor as his father was shot in, and the detective and forensic teams uncover additional similarities that should cause Matthias, one of the only remaining male Kielers, great concern. Will his slowly revealed suffering save him from becoming yet another Kieler fatality? (I have to note that another Kieler offspring's fate is manipulative and a bit too hammer-on-the-head.)
Using entries from the 19 diaries of railroad engineer Jacob Kieler Senior and the "current day" investigation (which really takes place in 1973), Ingolfsson unwinds a lengthy but enthralling history of murders involving a missing gun, the struggle to build a railroad in Iceland, two world wars, debilitating depression - both economic and emotional, Jacob Junior's folly as he attempts to turn the family home into a museum, a single overturned chair, Nazism, a hippie historian, and a deluded European who almost made Iceland a monarchy instead of a republic.
It is a credit to Ingolffson's style that somehow this all comes together as hints and additional mysteries are meted out in regular intervals to hold the reader's interest. Ingolffson deftly defies a key statute of fiction writing by working a long tale in which no single character is the main character.Read more ›
The book opens at Birkihlid, stately family home of the prominent Kieler family, on a cold January morning in 1973. Jacob Kieler Junior is found dead in the parlor, having bled to death from a fatal gunshot wound in his chest. Police forensics expert Detective Johann Palsson is first at the scene. Before long, he discovers that the father of the deceased, Jacob Kieler Senior, railway engineer, was shot to death in the same living room nearly thirty years before in 1945. That killing had never been solved, but had merely been closed as a botched robbery attempt. And the two men, father and son, were killed in roughly the same place in the room.
The police soon find the elder Kieler's voluminous diaries, covering more than 35 years, and charge one of their number with reading them. The story then alternates between the earlier 20th century of Jacob Senior's diaries and the 1973 investigation. The diaries disclose that the elder Kieler was an ambitious man, driven to bring the railroad to his country. He also appears to have flirted with monarchism, as he went to Germany in the 1930s to seek an aristocrat willing to be king of Iceland.Read more ›
Iceland, engineers, development of railroads, World War I & especially II, mental illness/disabilities, politics, and some other topics that I won't mention to avoid sharing some final revelations all come together to create the story. Its told in a detached and factual manner like you might expect from, well, an engineer (which surprise surprise the author is).
The boy Halli in the story interests me as they never bother to identify him as autistic and yet that he is seems obvious based on his particular combination of abilities/disabilities. He gets called retarded -- does the author not know he created an autistic character? Or is this what they would have called an autistic child in 1973 in Iceland? (Or now?) Or is something lost in translation?
The book makes me want both more by the author and more set in Iceland, a part of the world we rarely hear anything about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This crime story had many side treats to it . 1st of all was the history of WW II as it involved Iceland, Denmark and Norway and their collective and individual relationships with... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Anthony Martinelli
From the pen of Icelandic author, Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson, House of Evidence is a very successful police procedural that follows the story of the fate of several generations of men... Read morePublished 18 days ago by S. Warfield
A man is murdered in his own living room, and a generation later his son is murdered the same way with the same gun. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Leeanne
I felt a deep and forbidding unsettling in my soul before completing the last chapter. One who has not lost, to some violent act of tragedy and death, an exceedingly strong father... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
I would definitely recommend this book to all murder, crime, and good novels. This story was full of twists and turns.
The narrator was also exceptional. Read more
This is a very good suspense story! I thought I had it figured out several times only to find I was wrong! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Susan C. O'Neal
It was broken up by the diary exerts and of course the Icelandic names were hard to translate. Read in one day.Published 3 months ago by TGMory
This is an elegantly plotted, fairly complex mystery, set in Iceland in which some of the characters (including the detectives) echo the apparent barrenness of the land. Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Knight
VERY interesting presentation. The back-and-forth between time periods was intriguing and very well done. A fun read. Ed RollmanPublished 4 months ago by Ed Rollman
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