Review: Where The Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Corvus, 2010. Kindle edition (983 KB). First published in the UK in 2010 by Corvus, an imprint of Grove Atlantic Ltd. ASIN: B003Y3BLL2. ISBN: 978-1-848-87746-7. Pages 351.

11078393Publisher’s description

Amid Iceland’s wild, volcanic landscape, rumours swirl of an eight-hundred-year old manuscript inscribed with a long-lost saga about a ring of terrible power. A rediscovered saga alone would be worth a fortune, but, if the rumours can be believed, there is something much more valuable about this one. Something worth killing for. Something that will cost Professor Agnar Haraldsson his life. Untangling murder from myth is Iceland-born, Boston-raised homicide detective Magnus Jonson. Seconded to the Icelandic Police Force for his own protection after he runs afoul of a drug cartel back in Boston, Magnus also has his own reasons for returning to the country of his birth for the first time in nearly two decades – the unsolved murder of his father. And as Magnus is about to discover, the past casts a long shadow in Iceland. Binding Iceland’s landscape and history, secrets and superstitions in a strikingly original plot that will span several volumes, Where The Shadows Lie is a thrilling new series from an established master.

Michael Ridpath was born in Devon and brought up in Yorkshire. He read history at Oxford University, and then worked in the City, first as a bond trader and then as a venture capitalist. His first novel, a financial thriller entitled Free To Trade, was published in 1995. It reached number two on the Sunday Times bestseller list for three months, and was translated into over thirty languages. He wrote seven more financial thrillers before starting the Fire and Ice crime series featuring the Icelandic-American detective, Magnus Jonson. The five books in this series so far are Where The Shadows Lie (Corvus, 2010), 66º North (Corvus, 2011) aka Far North in the United States, Edge of Nowhere (Corvus, 2011. 60-page short story, available only on Kindle), Meltwater (Corvus, 2012) and Sea of Stone (Corvus, 2014)

The greatest success of this book lies, in my view, in the choice of its main character. Magnus Jonson is an American cop who was born in Iceland. In this book, the first in a crime series, Magnus returns to Iceland to help the local police. Although he speaks the language, he’s an outsider. This detail gives a new perspective to the book. The main plot revolves around an ancient saga that has remained hidden for centuries and is somehow related to The Lord of the Rings; another aspect of the book that I have found highly original and believable. However the plot round a missing ring is quite ludicrous and lacks much credibility. After finishing reading, I was left under the impression that the author had wanted to cover too many topics in a book that is certainly intended as the first one in a series. In a sense the different subplots, though related, serve more to disperse the attention of the reader that to advance in the story. Despite this flaws, I have found it an enjoyable book to read on leisure-time and have a good time. I’ll probably read the rest of the books in the series. You’ll enjoy it more if you’ve read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

My rating: B (I really liked it)

Where The Shadows Lie has been reviewed at Euro Crime (Maxine), Reactions to Reading (Bernadette) It’s a crime! Book Reviews (Rhian), Iceland Review (Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir), Novel Heights (Suzigun), and The View from the Blue House (Rob) among others. 

Michael Ridpath Website

Corvus An Inprint of Atlantic Books (UK) 

Minotaur Books (US)

El caso del anillo de Michael Ridpath

Descripción del editor

Entre el paisaje salvaje y volcánico de Islandia, giran los rumores de un manuscrito de ochocientos años inscrito en una saga perdida hace mucho tiempo acerca de un anillo con un poder tremendo. Una saga redescubierta por si sola valdría una fortuna, pero, si los rumores son ciertos, existe algo mucho más valioso en esto. Algo por lo que vale la pena matar. Algo que va a costar al profesor Agnar Haraldsson su vida. Para separar el crimen de la leyenda, está el detective de homicidios Magnus Jonson nacido en Islandia y criado en Boston. Adscrito a la Fuerza de Policía islandesa por su propia seguridad después de haber entrado en conflicto con un cartel de la droga allá en Boston, Magnus también tiene sus propias razones para regresar a su país natal por primera vez en casi dos décadas; el asesinato sin resolver de su padre. Y como Magnus está a punto de descubrir, la sombra del pasado es alargada en Islandia. Asociando paisaje e historia de Islandia, secretos y supersticiones en una trama de asombrosa originalidad que se extenderá a lo largo de varios libros, El caso del anillo inaugura una nueva y emocionante serie de un maestro consagrado.

Michael Ridpath nació en Devon y creció en Yorkshire. Estudió historia en la Universidad de Oxford, y luego trabajó en La City, primero negociando bonos y luego en una empresa de capital-riesgo. Su primera novela, un “thriller financiero” titulado Free To Trade, fue publicada en 1995, alcanzó el número dos en la lista de bestsellers del Sunday Times durante tres meses, y fue traducida a más de treinta idiomas. Está traducida con el nombre de Dinero asesino. Escribió otras siete novelas de misterio ambientadas en el mundo financiero (Juego mortal es el título de otra disponible en castellano) antes de comenzar la serie de novela policíaca Fuego y Hielo portagonizada por el detective Islandés-Americano, Magnus Jonson. Los cinco libros de esta serie hasta el momento son El caso del anillo (Corvus, 2010), 66º North (Corvus, 2011) también conocida como Far North en los Estados Unidos, Edge of Nowhere (Corvus, 2011. Un relato de 60 páginas disponible sólo en Kindle), Meltwater (Corvus, 2012) y Sea of Stone (Corvus, 2014)

El mayor éxito de este libro radica, a mi juicio, en la elección de su personaje principal. Magnus Jonson es un policía americano que nació en Islandia. En este libro, el primero de una serie de novela policíaca, Magnus regresa a Islandia para ayudar a la policía local. A pesar de que habla el idioma, él es un extraño. Este detalle le da una nueva perspectiva al libro. La trama principal gira en torno a una antigua saga que ha permanecido oculta durante siglos y tiene cierta relación con El Señor de los Anillos; otro aspecto del libro que he encontrado muy original y creíble. Sin embargo la trama en torno a un anillo perdido es bastante absurda y carece de mucha credibilidad. Después de terminar la lectura, me quedó la impresión de que el autor había querido abarcar demasiados temas en un libro que sin duda pretende ser el primero de una serie. En cierto sentido las diferentes subtramas, aunque relacionadas, sirven más para dispersar la atención del lector que para avanzar en la historia. A pesar de estos defectos, he encontrado que es un libro agradable de leer en nuestro tiempo libre y pasar un buen rato. Posiblemente voy a continuar leyendo los siguientes de la serie. Lo disfrutarás más si has leído El señor de los anillos y El hobbit.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó mucho)

Planeta de libros. Espasa

Ver una reseña de El caso del anillo en Crónica literarias.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Review: Where The Shadows Lie by Michael Ridpath

  1. The cover of the Spanish version is so much better – really highlights the links to Lord of the Rings. I must say, despite your reservations, the plot does sound very intriguing…

  2. You highlight a very real problem with novels that are intended to be the first in the series: they often try to tackle too many subjects, strands, complications at once. That’s why it sometimes works better when the first in the series was initially planned as a standalone. I prefer it when things are hinted at rather than made explicit in the very first book.

  3. I agree with you that the lead character works well and provides a good way of explaining a lot of the background info on Iceland. I read it before we went last year and was pleased to spot some of the places Ridpath mentioned in the book. And thank you for the link 🙂

  4. I must give this a try sometime. I got nowhere with his first novel, simply because the background bores me rigid — I’m sure it could be a rollercoaster ride, etc., for readers who enjoy reading about the financial world. Hm. That was over a decade ago. I still have my copy, so maybe I should give the book a second chance . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s