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Where the Shadows Lie (Fire & Ice, #1)
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Where the Shadows Lie (Fire and Ice #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,802 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
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 Hara
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published 2010 by Corvus (first published 2009)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iceland, nordic-noir
”Some of his colleagues in the Church of Iceland might have a better understanding of God, but the pastor understood the devil, and in a land that lay under constant threat of earthquake, volcano or storm, where trolls and ghosts roamed the countryside, and where dark winters suffocated isolated communities in their cold grip, an understanding of the devil was important.”

 photo Tolkien_zpsgn02hnva.jpg
Gauker’s Saga, you say? I may have borrowed a few things from that.

An ancient document, a ring, and a letter from J. R. R. To
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Κυκλοφορεί στα ελληνικά από τις εκδόσεις "Μοντέρνοι Καιροί" με τον τίτλο "Σκιές στον πάγο".
Λίγο ο πιασάρικος τίτλος, λίγο οι σάγκα και οι μύθοι που αναφέρονται, λίγο το πολύ ενδιαφέρον εξώφυλλο και την πατάς σαν πρωτάρης!
Διότι, μολονότι η πρώτη ύλη (δηλαδή το χιονισμένο τοπίο της Ισλανδίας, τα χειρόγραφα χιλιάδων ετών, η σύνδεση με τον Άρχοντα των δαχτυλιδιών, οι αναφορές σε ισλανδικούς θρύλους, κλπ) φαντάζει εξαιρετική και πολλά υποσχόμενη, ο συγγραφέας δεν καταφέρνει να τη διαχειριστεί σωστά,
May 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book well enough to keep at it, but it slowed me down. One of those, okay I want to know what's going on so I'll keep going, but...yawn...

Magnus Jonson, a cop from Boston, is sent to Iceland for his own protection. (He's due to testify against a drug gang so he's there as an American 'consultant'.) Okay, I will accept that, but it's obvious this book was not written by a Bostonian. There are too many 'Englishisms' in it. (And we don't write tires as tyres.) So as I'm reading I'm thi
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lord of the Rings fans, read this book! I just finished this adult mystery, set in Iceland, and I really enjoyed all the information about the Icelandic sagas and folklore, as well as the descriptions of life in Iceland. It's amazing to think of such a small country where everyone really sort-of knows everyone else! Yes, I realize this is a work of fiction, but I still felt like I got a sense of life in Iceland. I'm not going to say a whole lot about the plot, except it involves a Boston PD, Mag ...more
I just thought this book was great. I loved almost everything about it. (I think the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because I wasn't thrilled that the murderer was revealed to the reader before the detective.)

Though a lot of the elements seem silly when described, they work perfectly in the book. For instance: A Boston PD detective on loan to the Icelandic police. Does it seem like a silly foreign exchange? No. Since Magnus is Icelandic-American and needs a place to hide while he waits
John Wiltshire
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hats off to Michael Ridpath for coming up with this idea for a crime novel. He proposes that Tolkien's Lord of the Rings wasn't inspired by Wagner's Ring Cycle, but by the original Icelandic saga that also inspired the composer--but more than that, Tolkien had access to an unpublished saga held by one family sworn to secrecy about its existence because not only does it tell of a terrible ring of power, it confirms that the ring still exists and is hidden somewhere in Iceland.
Magnus, a Boston de

Gostei das referências à Saga perdida de Gaukur, ao Anel do poder, aos Elfos e Trolls, a Tolkien e à paisagem islandesa...
I was interested in reading this because it took place in Iceland. I'm interested in Iceland, though I've never been there.

This is a murder mystery. Who killed the professor? The main cop is an American, although he was born in Iceland. I think I would have liked it better if he had just been Icelandic, but having an American gave us some comparisons. I didn't really like him, though. He didn't grow on me.

The story at the end got pretty crazy and a bit unbelievable, but I think that's how books
Always Pink
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
How very clever of Michael Ridpath. This is the mystery every visitor of beautiful Iceland would want to read in order to remember his or her own travel experiences: A lot of well known landscapes and sights of the island are described, a number of in-spots of Reykjavik play a minor role, and the plot evolves around nothing less than a "lost" saga! Add to that a hunky detective plus a dwarfish side-kick and let the fun begin... The result is far better than Ragnar Jonasson's novels, I'm afraid.
Jon Frum
Jan 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
If one star means "I did not like it," then this book has to get one star from me. I understand that others have enjoyed this book, but let me explain why I didn't even get very far into it.

First, the setup is silly. A Boston, USA policeman sent to work in Iceland? The difference between a Poirot and a policeman is that a cop doesn't have to inserted into a murder investigation, like Poirot so often was - it's their business, and murder comes to them.

Second, the detective, still a young man, ha
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
WOW. I haven't screamed through a book like this in awhile. It was so good that I was able to finish it, cover to cover, in one day.

This book has it all -- a conflicted main character, a scintillating whodunnit, an ancient saga whose influence (and torture) is felt by a family for generations, a bleak and ethereal setting, and even some elves and trolls thrown in for good measure.

But don't worry...this book is 100% mystery/thriller. The elves and trolls are simply an explanation to try and exp
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I rated this book OK because the character development was pretty weak and stereotypical. It had an interesting plot device that relates to the Lord of the Rings, and the setting in Iceland added a lot of atmosphere (the descriptions were spare but well-crafted - it's hard to go wrong with such a dramatic place as the Land of Ice and Fire). All that good stuff made it readable but the wooden dialogue, predictable ending, and cardboard characters kept it from reaching true likeability.
Brian Blocker
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Michael Ridpath’s latest offering, “Where the Shadows Lie” is a tight mix of crime and lore that takes the reader on a journey from crime-ridden streets to the slopes of a mysterious volcano. Fast-paced and well written,Ridpath keeps your attention while exploring 10th century sagas, corrupt
policemen, contract killers, fanboys,family secrets, and a magical ring.“Where the Shadows Lie”
follows Magnus Jonson, an Icelandic born Boston detective that must flee to his native country to escape the h
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Where the shadows lie is actually a really good book. It is interesting and keeps you on your toes for most of the book.
The main character is likable; he has enough common sense to relate to but at the same time he is kind of arrogant which leaves room for error on his part, as well as a personality clash with his new co-workers.
I probably found the Icelandic lore that has been spun into the modern plot the most exciting; not that I have ever been to Iceland but they share a lot of mythology w
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers, travel
This book takes place in Iceland and this was a very enjoyable read especially since I just went there with my wife.

The book is a very quick read and has several twists that keep you guessing almost up to the very end. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings or the Icelandic sagas you will enjoy this book more than most. I will not spoil things beyond those mentions.

If you have gone to Iceland, the places in this book will be very familiar and will bring back a lot of great memories, if you ha
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This book meandered for a while before it became cohesive enough to become enjoyable. . But I'm a fool for books that take place in Iceland so I stuck with it. It did get better near the end and the Lord of the Rings hook was certainly intriguing. I'll try the next one to see if he settled in with the characters. because Iceland.
P.S. I really didn't like the way in which he seemed to equate the music of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple with " devil's music"
kostas  vamvoukakis
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
καλό αστυνομικό στην παγωμένη Ισλανδία. δεν έχει κάποια φοβερή πρωτοτυπια αλλά έχει κάνει έναν ωραίο συσχετισμό με τον άρχοντα των δαχτυλιδιών.... Αρκετά ενδιαφέρον και ευχάριστο
Ken Fredette
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Totally was positive about this book. I really like the way Michael handled the ring, It ended like the way you would like, being romantic. Next book please.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
An american Police detective is sent to Iceland to investigate the death of some scholar. He leaves girl friend at home. The murder has something to do with a ring that was the inspiration for Tolkien. Very good start, pretty lame ending. (5/10)
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have just finished this and really enjoyed it. This was an easy read and a book that kept me wanting to know more.

Magnus is an Icelandic born Boston cop. He has has a couple of attempts on his life as he has 'shopped' a dirty cop and the a drug want him gone.

He is sent to Iceland to get him out of the way in a witness protection program. He is not that thrilled to be going back to Iceland as his last welcome from his remaining relatives is far from friendly.

On the day he arrives there has been
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hay que reconocer que la portada llama la atención, si bien ni portada ni titulo se parecen ni en el blanco del ojo, a los originales. Y es que tras este titulo, tremendamente explicativo, nos encontramos con una un thriller policial situado en Islandia y que tiene que ver con un anillo milenario y de maldad latente, que un tal Isildur que lo llevó a Islandia y que renuncio a deshacerse de él en un volcán cercano a su granja y trata de una saga nórdica oculta hasta ahora que cuenta dicha histori ...more
Ellen Keim
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scandinavian
An interesting juxtaposition of American big-city (Boston) detective novel and Icelandic murder mystery. The main character is "on loan" to an Icelandic police department in order to give the police tips on how to handle violent crimes, particularly those emanating from the drug trade. Because he was born in Iceland and lived there until he was in his teens, he's a natural choice. But the assignment also comes at a fortuitous time: in the U.S. he has had a couple of attempts made on his life to ...more
Christine Blachford
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It got off to a bit of a stilted start, and the mechanics of getting Magnus back to Iceland felt a little contrived, but gradually even that side of the story became fascinating. Once in Iceland, the mystery took over, the intrigue of such an unusual landscape all the time topped with Magnus' inner struggles with his identity.

There were some great characters, and the direct nature of the dialogue (an Icelandic trait, apparently) was really refreshing. Straight questio
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
The beginning of this novel was excellent. Full 4 star. And I did enjoy the entire. But on a whole, closer to 3 than 4. Not that the protagonist and his life history and proclivities are not interesting. The Icelandic/ American dichotomies completely intriguing! But somehow it just got a bit wordy and too Lord of the Rings encompassed for me at certain points. I find the entire country of Iceland, the language and the cultural key points have intense similarities to many smallish town or village ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pues sí, casi muero de fangirleo cuando se supo que el anillo era "real".
Si alguna vez voy a Islandia (ojalá pueda ir) me pasaré todo el viaje buscando similitudes entre los paisajes de allí y los paisajes de Mordor.

El libro ha sido más interesante de lo que pensaba, esperaba más fantasía y para nada, es una historia policíaca que se entrelaza con el mundo de Tolkien pero sin entrar en cosas demasiado fantasiosas. Y eso me ha venido muy bien porque quiero dejar un poco de lado la fantasía, y al
I chose this book because it was based in Iceland and I enjoy reading books that can expose you to places or cultures that you know little or nothing about. And while I enjoyed all the info about Iceland and the characters were likable, and I am even a big Lord of the Rings fan, this book just didn't hook me like I hoped it would. I really had to struggle through it, and the mystery didn't seem all that exciting. There is a whole series of books based on the main character, Magnus, so maybe the ...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 While there was much in this book I liked, the characters, the storyline was good, the constant retelling of Icelandic fables and stories served to make me lose the connection to the main case. In the beginning I liked all the references to Lord of the Rings and other Icelandic sagas, but they were told in such depth that it proved to be a distraction. Not your typical Nordic novel as the book starts in Boston and than combines elements of both cultures into the story which was interesting.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very different take on a murder mystery. A straight forward police procedural (set in Iceland) which has the Icelandic Sagas and the Lord of the Rings book as a backdrop. Very cleverly done. It dropped off a little in the middle but certainly picked up pace towards the end of the book. Different to so many mystery and suspense books out there. It will be interesting to see how this is taken forward into Book 2 in the series.
Naomi Blackburn
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I have seen this book classified as Nordic Noir, I wouldn't call it that. However, I really enjoyed this story. There were actually 2 really good storylines intertwined with another that played off really well together. If this book is part of a series, it is def. one I would continue on with.
Ryan Mishap
Jul 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Holy Crow this is so filled with cliches and hackneyed crime thriller crap I thought I was reading a parody! I can't believe the blurbs on the back were real! They must have been taken out of context! Like it says on the back: "This is a good story set in a fascinating place and spiced with some sharp observation." But they lopped off the next sentence: "Just kidding! This sucks!"
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Scandinavian and ...: "Where the Shadows Lie", book of the Month for June 2012 42 75 Aug 13, 2012 01:27PM  
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Before becoming a writer, I used to work in the City of London as a bond trader. I have written eight thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance, but I am now trying my hand at something different. Where The Shadows Lie, the first in a series featuring an Icelandic detective named Magnus Jonson, was published in 2010. The third book in the series, Meltwater, is out in the UK this summer. ...more
More about Michael Ridpath

Other books in the series

Fire and Ice (4 books)
  • Far North (Fire & Ice, #2)
  • Meltwater (Fire & Ice, #3)
  • Sea of Stone (Fire & Ice, #4)

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