There’s a new Icelandic murder mystery out this week – in which one man comes back from the dead, a dead man reveals the truth about a suspicious accident, and a spur of the moment act of revenge has unforeseen consequences. Officer Gunnhildur returns to piece together this peculiar puzzle, never pulling her punches or mincing her words. And we have an exclusive extract from this engrossing Scandi-style police procedural to share with you!
Young Tekla has been grabbed by gangsters who are threatening her father, Ingvar. He’s got lots of secrets to hide – as well as his daughter to protect, as we’ll see in this heart-stopping scene…
The man dipped into his pocket and brought out the carpet knife, balancing it in his hand, and Tekla shrank away, tucking her hands inside her coat.
‘Erling’s house. It burned down a couple of nights ago. You were there.’
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Ingvar said.
‘Wrong answer.’ He slid the blade out and jerked his head towards Tekla. ‘Cute girl, isn’t she? A shame to spoil that pretty face.’
Ingvar breathed deeply and forced himself to be as calm as he could.
‘Listen, I’ve been here for three days. I haven’t been back in this country for years. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.’
The man clicked the blade in and out of the knife a couple of times, and hissed with nervous frustration.
‘I’m not playing games. You were there.’
‘You want me to tell you a lie? I’m telling you the truth, man,’ Ingvar protested. ‘You think I’d take a chance with my daughter’s life? Maybe you would with your kid’s life.’
‘Don’t fuck with us, pal. Last warning before there’s some damage. That’s why we’re in your car. This could get really messy.’
‘Is that your boss?’ Tekla asked suddenly, sitting up and peering between the seats as lights briefly illuminated the car’s interior.
His attention distracted, the man glanced up, and Tekla took her chance, stabbing downwards with the biro she had plucked from an inside pocket of her coat, holding it in both hands and driving it with all her strength into the muscle of the man’s thigh.
His screech of pain took her by surprise. He jerked and his arms flailed, the knife slicing a gash in the upholstery. Ingvar shot out a hand to catch hold of his wrist, wrenching the man’s arm forward and bending the elbow joint against the side of the passenger seat, squeezing the wrist as hard as he could as he tried to force him to drop the knife.
As the man fought and yelled, Tekla pulled her scarf from under her coat and stretched to wrap it around his neck, twisting it into knots around her hands as she tightened it. His yells dissolved into grunts. The knife clattered from his hand and he slumped back. Ingvar relaxed his grip.
‘I don’t believe it…’ he muttered to himself. Opening the door and tumbling out of the car, he hauled Tekla out of the back seat and reached inside to feel for a pulse in the man’s neck.
Excellent stuff, eh? To find out what happens next, and how it all ties in to an old cold case, you’ll have to read Cold Malice by Quentin Bates. It’s available right now at Amazon, and check back next week for our review…