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Review: Kin by Snorri Kristjansson

25 Jan

I don’t think I know enough about the Vikings.

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Daughter’s Viking helmet from last term’s topic; she knows more than me about Viking life!

I do know they didn’t wear horned helmets. Or rape and pillage everyone mercilessly. I HAVE watched and read my Horrible Histories’ Vicious Vikings, I promise. But I don’t know much about how they ‘lived, moved and had their being’.

Now I do.

Kin is the first in a projected series about a young Viking girl, Helga Finnsdottir. Set in the summer of 970, Helga’s adoptive parents, Unnthor and Hildigunnur, host a family reunion for their four adult children. And like any family get-together, there are tensions, quarrels and resentment. Oh, and murder. With plenty of honey mead to ease the pain.

Helga is a good pair of eyes to see this family through; she knows the parents very well but does not yet have the measure of their children.  She becomes, in effect, the sleuth, solving the question of ‘whodunnit’.

There was an impressive detail of daily settled Viking life; I found it fascinating.  This is billed as ‘Viking Noir’; perhaps anything in an unforgiving setting is ‘noir’, despite this being in a Nordic summer. There is blood but it is not too gruesome. The murder mystery element was satisfyingly solved and resolved, although I worked out the twist long before the end.

I read this as a proof but I am assured by the lovely folks at Quercus that a family tree will be included on publication. That should help you to avoid the confusion I felt over the combination of husbands and wives, siblings and relatives.

This could be the start of an interesting crime series. Mere, dak!

 

Published March 2018   ISBN 9781786489012

 
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Posted by on 25/01/2018 in review

 

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