Last Rituals

Last Rituals

An Icelandic Novel of Secret Symbols, Medieval Witchcraft, and Modern Murder

Book - 2007
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The spellbinding debut and international sensation being published in thirty countries featuring Th#65533;ra Gudmundsd#65533;ttir, a smart, sexy lawyer and investigator whose hunt for a modern murderer points to a very odd--and evil--chapter in Iceland's past

After the body of a young German student--with his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest--is discovered at a university in Reykjav#65533;k, the police waste no time in making an arrest. The victim's family isn't convinced they have the right man, however, so they ask Th#65533;ra Gudmundsd#65533;ttir, attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. The fee is considerable--more than enough to make things a bit easier for the struggling lawyer and her children.

It's not long before Th#65533;ra and Matthew Reich, her new associate, discover something unusual about the deceased student: He had been obsessed with the country's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts--a topic made all the more peculiar by the fact that unlike witch hunts in other countries, those in Iceland had targeted men . . . not women.

As Th#65533;ra and Matthew dig deeper, they make the connection between long-bygone customs and the student's murder. But the shadow of dark traditions conceals secrets in both the past and the present, and the investigators soon realize that nothing is as it seems . . . and that no one can be trusted.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2007
ISBN: 9780061143366
Characteristics: 314 p. : ill
Additional Contributors: Scudder, Bernard 1954-2007


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Sep 04, 2018

The prose is a bit simple and sometimes stilted (translation issue?), but this is a solid debut mystery story. It introduces naive, but endearing single mother and lawyer Thora, who is new to investigating murders. She lands a particularly bizarre and grotesque death investigation that revolves around the history of witchcraft in Iceland. Recently divorced, Thora seems equally bemused by her teenage son and by her handsome German sidekick who was sent to Iceland by the victim’s family. One gains some insight into family life and social issues in Iceland, and learns that Icelandic humour is droll and a bit corny. But like Thora, the book is likeable and engaging.

Apr 12, 2017

This is the second Yrsa Sigurðardóttir's novel I've read that features the Icelandic lawyer and single mother, Thóra Guðmundsdóttir. This particular book is a bit gory and perhaps not as good as "The Day is Dark". There is, however, still lots to like about it: an appealing and funny main character, interesting facts about the ancient history of Iceland, and a good ending. I loved the final few paragraphs! I closed the book with a smile on my face :)

Nov 05, 2016

FIRST BOOK IN THE Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series

Apr 27, 2016

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Yrsa's writing and weaving of plot lines. Normally I steer clear of mystery novels; often I find them too predictable and am able to discern who the culprit is within the first three chapters... but thankfully that wasn't the case with this novel! It makes for a very interesting and sometimes "colorful" read. I especially loved when she'd describe certain Icelandic landscapes and Thora's quirky, sometimes humorous, view of her own people. Really enjoyed it!

Mar 16, 2015

This is Yrsa's first adult mystery, a laid back, easy going whodunit with a tricky ending. Icelandic Noir for non-neurotics. [Author's last name, Sigurðardóttir, is pronounced // series-daughter \\ in English.]

Mar 29, 2014

It was a little creepy for my taste, but it was still a good story

Apr 06, 2013

A very good read - female protagonist lawyer, well constructed mystery. Fun because it is a Icelandic story set in Iceland and involves early history elements. Story has a good pace.

Jan 10, 2012

This is book #1 in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, Lawyer series set in Reykjavik; the story itself is quite interesting and rather involved, but it’s not a police procedural because the police are mostly on the outside looking in and are made to look rather stupid on the whole; the interactions among the protagonists and truth-seekers are generally good and there’s a lot of funny dialogue; the novel’s main drawback is the low quality of the domestic scenes, which are overly melodramatic and rather formulaic; maybe that aspect of the books will improve as the series goes on.

Jun 29, 2011

Thora Gundmunsdottir is the main character in this absorbing mystery. Unlike some of the other Scandinavian mystery characters, she's a lawyer, not a detective. Also, she's less morose and cerebral. Instead she's a single mother of two and is lively and fun. She's also smart and dedicated. This novel's got plenty of mysterious goings on and questioning of those involved with a murder etc. but it's also got some quirky characters, kid problems and a touch of romance. Very good.

rdrlady Dec 27, 2010

Dark mystery set in Iceland about killing and mutilation of a grad student.

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Apr 06, 2013

Lavenderseas thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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