Last Rituals: A Novel of Suspense (Thora Gudmundsdottir Novels)
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At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted.
I must have ripped it in my agitation.” She smiled apologetically. “They can stick it back together—can’t they? Maybe iron it out a bit?” “Oh, yes. I’m sure they can,” said Thóra, although she suspected that a repair would be a rather complicated procedure, if it was possible at all. “Thank you very much for contacting us. You did the right thing—this is probably the document we were looking for and it really has nothing to do with the police investigation. We’ll return it to its rightful
have my e-mail address now.” This did not imply much affection. Perhaps his discharge from the army was in some way connected with their poor relationship. Judging from the photographs, his father did not seem to be the most understanding of people, and he was bound to be unhappy about a child who failed to live up to expectations. On the next page was a curt reply from his father, also an e-mail. It said: “Dear Harald, I suggest that you stay clear of that essay topic. It is illchosen and not
stool would drown if the duckers weren’t careful.” “I’m glad I wasn’t around in those days,” Thóra said, letting go of the stool. She generally found it difficult to hold her tongue when she felt strongly about something, so she would have been a prime candidate. “These are actually some of the milder instruments in the collection,” said Matthew. “The originality of some of the inventions defies belief. Pain seems to give the imagination free rein.” “Actually, I’d like to leave this cozy
to get rid of them, why didn’t he burn them? They weren’t exactly short of fires.” Matthew concentrated on steering into a parking spot near Harald’s apartment. The ones directly outside it were full. “I don’t know—maybe he visualized Saint Peter and God and didn’t want to draw attention to the content of the letters by burning them. Smoke rises up to heaven, after all.” “So you think the letters aren’t forgeries?” Thóra asked. “No, I didn’t say that. There are certain points in them that
in anyone’s mind, but she could try showing it to Hugi to find out whether he recognized it. One thought in particular was preying on Thóra’s mind, something which had been plaguing her ever since she first went to Harald’s apartment. It was the German magazine Bunte in the bathroom. She was absolutely certain that Harald would not read that kind of women’s magazine. The Icelanders could be ruled out too. It must have been brought there by a German—and a woman. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had