Quentin Bates

Thin Ice

"I slammed his book shut with a deliciously satisfied thud at the end of a magnificent read"


Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter...

When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik's premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.

Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, EirĂ­kur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day's shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.

Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. At the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages...

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'Thin Ice' is the fifth in Quentin Bates series featuring Officer Gunnhildur of the Reykjavik police force, but don't need to be put off if you haven't read any of the previous books, as it works well as a standalone novel as it does in the series. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to say that 'Thin Ice' is a great introduction if you haven't tried any before. The enclosed space of the hotel along with its frozen and isolated location provide a brilliant backdrop to the boiling pot of emotions and personalities as tensions mount, food supplies run low and it becomes clear risks must be taken in order for anyone to survive. Not all the problems are saved for the crooks though. Gunnhildur has her own issues, aside from tracking down a missing mother and her daughter, she must deal with the continued issues of her son's actions, and the reappearance of an old flame she hoped never to see return. Whilst her personal life is a stressful as her professional one, it works well to make her one of the most rounded characters you will read about in any police procedural. 'Thin Ice' showcases Bates' writing brilliantly, his dark humour, his incredible plotting, and throws in a fiendish sting in the tale ensuring I slammed his book shut with a deliciously satisfied thud at the end of a magnificent read.

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