Forty Days Without Shadow by Olivier Truc

Title: Forty Days Without Shadow
Author: Olivier Truc
Published: December 4th 2014 by Trapdoor
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Blurb: Winner of 17 international awards.

A gripping thriller set in the haunting wilderness of snowy Lapland.

Winter is savage and cold in Lapland. When a priceless local relic is stolen from Kautokeino, a village in the middle of the isolated snowy tundra, detectives Klemet Nango – a familiar face in the rural community – and Nina Nansen, fresh out of the local police academy, are called to investigate.

There are just a few days until the locals will host a UN World Heritage conference, and Klemet and Nina are under pressure to retrieve the artefact, due to be presented to a world-renowned French scientist as part of the celebrations. When a local reindeer herder is found brutally murdered, Klemet and Nina immediately suspect that the two events are linked. But the villagers don't take too kindly to having their secret histories stirred up and the duo is forced to cross the icy landscapes alone in search of the answers that will lead them to a killer.

*First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: I found this story really interesting. The dark atmosphere (a lot can happen in the vast tundra in Lapland when the sun only shines some minutes per day), the detailed descriptions of a culture and lifestyle quite unknown to me but that probably has its days numbered, and the well developed main characters, all added to the intricate plot of this story, that had me glued to its pages, wanting to know more, to learn more. Because Olivier Truc not only offers us a fantastic thriller but also a glimpse to the Sámi world, present and past, as we learn how they live now but also how they used to life and all the oppression they have suffered since the seventeenth century.

Even if the pace of the story was a bit slow, given all the factors and parties that had a role in the story, I really enjoyed it. Just as Klemet and Nina, our intuitive investigators from the reindeer police, I collected all the evidence and details that the author left during the novel so I could guess who was behind the artefact theft and the murder and I was glad to see that I was actually on the right path.

The only thing that didn't convince me about the story was the abrupt ending as I would have liked everything to end a bit more settled. I do hope though that we hear more from Klemet and Nina, this strange but effective duo and Olivier Truc takes us back to the desolate tundra. I would love to read more about the reindeer police and their cases.


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