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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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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
Great for train lovers, though prose is rather turgid and plodding. Procedurals overdone with unnecessary detail for those who regularly read crime novels. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Martin Phillips
Likable characters, excellent mystery and detailed subplots. Good dialogue, good historical settings, diary technique well integrated.,believable ,a page turner to be surePublished 1 month ago by Chip Barker
This book was a little bit slow for me in the beginning and a little confusing keeping all the characters straight. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Shepherd
Not at all well-written. Perhaps it was clumsily translated, but in any event I returned it.Published 1 month ago by KittyL
This is a slow moving book, but does not lose or bore the reader. There were unexpected turns and twists which were presented at a good time. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kaye Jordan
This book was different, and I was disappointed in how the book ended. It seemed just to stop and the crime was solved.Published 2 months ago by Black Dog
I've read all of Victor Ingolfsson's books and have enjoyed them all. Iceland sounds like a beautiful and forbidding place. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tripower53
The main focus is the railroad, and the resolution was less than satisfying.Published 4 months ago by Diane Milan
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