Far North: Michael Ridpath

Note: This book is called 66° North in other countries – this is the US version.

This is the second book in the Fire & Ice Series – the book previous to this is called Where the Shadows Lie.

Now that Magnus has spent some time in Iceland, he’s become a little more familiar with the culture but often still refers back to his American training, which sometimes gets him in trouble, but sometimes turns out to be the thing they needed. In this book, Magnus reaches back to his past to try to find out who killed his father so many years ago, and who is behind the murders of the country’s top bankers and financiers.

This second book goes back and forth between 1934 and present day. In present day, the streets are filled with protesters, upset by the kreppa (financial crisis). Regular, every day hard workers have lost everything: jobs, savings, livelihood, and they’re upset. They take to protesting in the streets, blaming bankers and financiers for the downturn of Iceland. They want reparations for what they lost and want the Icelandic government to resign.


During this pots-and-pans protesting, five key characters meet: Harpa, Sindri, Bjorn, Isak, and Frikki. These five come together during the protests and commiserate over some drinks at Sindri’s house. With too much alcohol in their systems, they find out Harpa used to date a man who is a banker, and asks her to call him and lure him to a place where they can harass him. She complies, but the plan goes sour quickly. Emotions run too high, too quickly, and her ex dies.

Soon after the incident with her ex, other bankers and financiers start dying. One is presumed a suicide but another is shot from a distance. All of this starts to weigh on Harpa, who thinks about turning herself in, but becomes nervous, thinking she may be linked to crimes she didn’t commit.

Flashing back throughout the book to 1934, two boys witness an act they decide to keep silent about but ends up haunting them for years. The secret tears their friendship and families apart. As the book progresses, pieces come together and you start to see an interesting connection between Magnus, the boys, and possibly to Magnus’s father. Could figuring out what happened 70 years ago possibly help him solve the murder of his father?

I think that’s where book 3 comes in. I’m looking forward to it.


Review: 9.5/10



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