A cold case crime and dark secrets of a close-knit community intertwine in this bracing crime novel with a twist.
Everyone does their best to survive amidst the freezing fjords of remote Iceland. Hildur Rúnarsdóttir is no different as she takes to surfing in the icy waters of the Atlantic to try and forget her traumatic childhood and the burden of the cases occupying her mind as head of the missing children’s unit of the Ísafjörður police.
When Jakob Johanson, a Finnish police trainee with a knitting hobby arrives in Iceland to work alongside Hildur and try to escape his own, complicated life back at home, soon he, too, realises that the picturesque fjords also harbour their dark sides in the marginalized, exploitative, and power-hungry who dwell in their midst. Hildur and Jakob find themselves investigating a strange tangle of crimes as the fog obscuring secrets that have been in the dark for decades gradually begins to lift. Revenge may be sweet in theory, but will it solve anything in the end?
With a unique blend of Finnish and Icelandic sensibility, HILDUR launches a refreshing voice in the Nordic Noir tradition with a pinch of folkloric mysticism that is a must-read for fans of Maria Adolfsson’s Doggerland series or Arnaldur Indriðason’s atmospheric Erlendur series.
The second book in the series, RÓSA & BJÖRK will be published in March 2023 by WSOY followed by Book 3 in December 2023.
Winner – Bookbeat Awards, Newcomer of the Year 2022
Nominee – ‘Tulenkantaja’ (Torchbearer) Prize 2022
English Sample Translation 86 pp
German (Heyne, pre-publication 3-book preempt)
Danish (Gutkind, 3-book preempt)
Estonian (Eesti raamat, 3-book deal)
Latvian (Zvaigzne ABC)
Norwegian (Bonnier Norsk, 3-book deal)
Swedish (Bokförlaget Forum, 3-book deal)
‘Hildur Rúnarsdóttir, a police detective who surfs the icy waters of Iceland, barrels into the genre like a tsunami. This book must be read in one sitting.’ – Max Seeck, NYT and Der Spiegel bestselling author
‘In addition to the fine and moody description of the milieu, the plotting of the novel is cleverly woven, and the characters in their everyday life are believable. Rämö plans to continue Hildur’s story, and if she does it as well as in this, her debut novel, she may become a significant new name in Nordic crime fiction. Or at the very least, a domestic one.’ – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland
‘Not only is Rämö a stylish, absorbing storyteller, but she also succeeds in offering up something novel and even touching to the rather tired serial killer genre. The bar for debut crime novelists has been set high in recent years, but Satu Rämö surpasses it effortlessly and lifts the bar even higher. Such well-executed, mature and uniquely their own crime debuts are a joy to read. […] The ending of Hildur sets the scene for the next installment, and just as well as we need more of this treat.’ – Kansan Uutiset newspaper, Finland
‘Here’s the best crime debut of the summer: it pulls you along like a train, is interesting, and has the right balance of personal relationships. It’s fresh and new, and also relatable. This is a genre that thrives on cliches, and these are needed, but in good measure – not too many – and this [book] strikes the right balance. The text is snappy, smart and tells just the right amount. I love it! Chapeau, Satu Rämö.’ – Emma Alftan, former publisher and founder of Mellakka Management, Finland
‘Highly recommended!’ – Kirsin Book Club, Finland
‘Splendid!’ – Kirjaluotsi blog, Finland
‘Rämö constructions interesting characters for her main characters. When I read the description of the book, I admit I was skeptical, as it is so common to insert gendered characters of traumatized and complex police officers into crime novels. Hildur is gnawed at by the memory of her lost little siblings in childhood, and Jakob battles with his Norwegian ex-wife over visitation rights to his son. As the book progresses, the individuals are fleshed out, the personalities become stronger, as do the friendships of the co-workers. Gendered roles are also reversed, as Hildur is an engrossed surfer and Jakob produces Icelandic sweaters with the power of knitting. Healthy!’ – Tuijata blog, Finland
‘The motive behind the pattern of murders in Hildur is ultimately, satisfyingly Icelandic and the plotting cunning. Combine this with an incomparably interesting milieu and pleasant and interesting protagonists and one will patiently wait for the next installment.’ – Kirsin kirjanurkka blog, Finland