Discalimer: This book has not yet been published in English - nor have ANY of the author's books. But reading this review, anyone can easily decide WHETHER it is worth publishing.
What could be more depressing in the case of notoriously gloomy Scandinavian crime novels than if the setting itself is oppressive? The Faroe Islands? The smell of fish, economic stagnation, and alcoholism. Remigiusz Mróz’s crime novel titled “Feröer” doesn’t exactly inspire a strong desire to travel there for vacation.
Of course, the Faroe Islands might not be such a miserable place, and Remigiusz Mróz might be saying this just to create the necessary mood for his book. (A Hungarian, for instance, would probably feel right at home. As for the fish smell, one would probably get used to it…) And what makes you doubt Mróz’s judgment entirely is that not only is the setting depressing, but the novel itself isn’t that great either…
Sixteen-year-old Poula Lokin, a popular player in the local handball team, goes missing. The island is in turmoil, locals organize search teams, and soon Danish police officer Katrin Ellegaard arrives at the scene. As time passes, it becomes increasingly doubtful that the girl will be found alive.
Hallbjorn Olsen, the father of Poula’s teammate, was the last one to see the girl alive. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Hallbjorn, who, adhering to the island’s traditions, bravely indulged in some alcohol that day, doesn’t remember a SINGLE SECOND of that evening. So, it’s not SURPRISING that he begins to doubt himself: is it possible that he killed Poula, and then, just to be safe, hid the body?
Ellegaard starts the investigation in a hostile environment, as the Faroese dislike the Danes more than the murderers, and among the Danes, they dislike the Danish cops EVEN MORE. She is forced into an alliance with Hallbjorn.
And then you start thinking that police officers from other countries would probably view the unorthodox methods of the Danish police with some suspicion. Not only do they involve complete strangers, even suspects, in the investigation, revealing everything to them, but they also take them along to interrogations. And those left out of the interrogations are the ones who should be questioned first. (The handball team members, darn it.)