Customer Reviews for

Ashes to Dust (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir Series #3)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Excellent

Not only does the author provide a compelling crime story but she also manages to create interesting characters. She has the rare talent of combining the interior thoughts and external actions of her subjects. I enjoy nordic mysteries with the accompaning darkness; wit...
Not only does the author provide a compelling crime story but she also manages to create interesting characters. She has the rare talent of combining the interior thoughts and external actions of her subjects. I enjoy nordic mysteries with the accompaning darkness; with thisauthor, however (being Icelandic, I guess) she adds humor into the actions of her subjects. I look forwardto her future works. The translation into English is excellent. Kudos to that person. In addition, there were no wierd typos or odd symbols. I highly recommend this book to both men and women.

posted by 8609332 on April 23, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Another Tale

A volcanic eruption covered a little island off the coast of Iceland in 1973, forcing the evacuation of the population and burying many of the houses and its contents. In recent times, some parts were dug out, and from these efforts a bizarre murder mystery evolves. O...
A volcanic eruption covered a little island off the coast of Iceland in 1973, forcing the evacuation of the population and burying many of the houses and its contents. In recent times, some parts were dug out, and from these efforts a bizarre murder mystery evolves. One house scheduled to be investigated was the boyhood house of Marcus Magnusson, who steadfastly fought against the effort. Finally, he relented when permitted to remove what he chose from the basement.

After entering the basement, leaving his attorney, Thora Gudmundsdottr and the archeologist upstairs, he called Thora in a panic, pointing to a severed head which rolled out of a box, after which four bodies were found. Following this discovery, Marcus is held by the police while they investigate the situation. It remains for Thora to find exonerating evidence to free her client. Additional murders broaden the case and complicate her efforts.

This novel is the third in the series. I found it less appealing than its predecessors, perhaps because I believed the translation to be less than effective, full of stilted syntactical and grammatical and other errors. Certainly, the author developed an interesting plot with a completely unexpected twist at the end. But it deserved to be told in more flowing language.

posted by tedfeit0 on August 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Excellent

    Not only does the author provide a compelling crime story but she also manages to create interesting characters. She has the rare talent of combining the interior thoughts and external actions of her subjects. I enjoy nordic mysteries with the accompaning darkness; with thisauthor, however (being Icelandic, I guess) she adds humor into the actions of her subjects. I look forwardto her future works. The translation into English is excellent. Kudos to that person. In addition, there were no wierd typos or odd symbols. I highly recommend this book to both men and women.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Another Tale

    A volcanic eruption covered a little island off the coast of Iceland in 1973, forcing the evacuation of the population and burying many of the houses and its contents. In recent times, some parts were dug out, and from these efforts a bizarre murder mystery evolves. One house scheduled to be investigated was the boyhood house of Marcus Magnusson, who steadfastly fought against the effort. Finally, he relented when permitted to remove what he chose from the basement.

    After entering the basement, leaving his attorney, Thora Gudmundsdottr and the archeologist upstairs, he called Thora in a panic, pointing to a severed head which rolled out of a box, after which four bodies were found. Following this discovery, Marcus is held by the police while they investigate the situation. It remains for Thora to find exonerating evidence to free her client. Additional murders broaden the case and complicate her efforts.

    This novel is the third in the series. I found it less appealing than its predecessors, perhaps because I believed the translation to be less than effective, full of stilted syntactical and grammatical and other errors. Certainly, the author developed an interesting plot with a completely unexpected twist at the end. But it deserved to be told in more flowing language.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Wow!!! you will not guess the ending

    I have been a fan of hers since the first book. I watched her style improve and the story twists get better. I love the causal telling of the Icelandic lifestyle and did I mention volcanoes?? This is her best book yet. When I read the last 5 pages or so I was wondering how this would possibly wrap up. I think the word "surprised" to be woefully inadequate.

    Well Done Yrsa!!!!
    Looking forward to # 4.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

    Fun reading

    All of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's mysteries are fun reading, with good character development, and a dash of humor. I like them. Because of the Icelandic naming convention, it is sometimes hard to figure out how some characters are related to others.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great protagonist

    3.5/5
    I've been reading a number of Nordic mystery/thriller authors lately, but Yrsa Sigurdardottir was the first Icelandic author I've read. Indeed, she is known as 'Iceland's Crime Queen.'

    Yrsa's recurring character is lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir. In Ashes to Dust, the third book in the series, Thora is employed by a former resident of Heimaey Island in The Westman Islands. This fishing village was covered by a volcanic eruption in 1973 and only now (2007) is her client's former childhood home being uncovered. The government owns the houses and contents, but Markus insists on going to the basement ahead of the archaeologists to recover a box, before he signs off on the waiver. (I found the setting fascinating and ended up reading all about the Westman Islands online)

    He swears he has no idea what's in the box - a friend left it in the basement and she is the one who desperately wants it back he says. But when the archaeologists go down after him, what they discover changes the game - three bodies nicely laid out. And the box? It contains a head. Yes, a head. Thora's case has taken a completely different turn.

    Thora is a wonderfully different protagonist. She is a grandmother with a young child still at home, divorced, hoping that her long distance romance will work out. She's very, very determined and undertakes to prove her client's innocence. I found this different from North American practices - the lawyer pursuing clues and the truth rather than an investigator. I loved that she took along her secretary - again another character that's a square peg in a round hole. Interspersed with Thora's investigations are chapters from other characters that we know must somehow be related to the case.

    Sigurdardottir has created a winding plot that takes us down many avenues, exploring familial relationships as well as those of a small close knit village. There are no great surprises (many of the clues are plainly laid out) and some of the story seems superfluous. At times, I wanted to hurry the tellin along - it seemed it could have been done in about eighty pages less.

    I did enjoy the descriptions of Iceland's culture, lifestyle and scenery. But, Ashes to Dust felt a little wooden in parts. I'm not sure if this is in the original text or a result of the translation. It was an entertaining tale, but comparisons to Steig Larsson may be a bit too ambitious.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2015

    Candy

    Waits

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Excruciatingly painful to read without dying of boredom

    I expected this book to be very intresting due to the reviews but I soon realized this book went nowhere. The first few pages had an amazing hook that was incredibly decietful. I had believed this book would be exciting! Good luck with reading, if you dare.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2014

    Big Surprise. Read on

    The setting and premise of story is intriguing in itself. fast paced good characters and the ending is a real zinger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    MAIN CAMP (Sparkfire)

    MAIN CAMP-Sparkfire

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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