Last Rituals: An Icelandic Novel of Secret Symbols, Medieval Witchcraft, and Modern Murder

Last Rituals: An Icelandic Novel of Secret Symbols, Medieval Witchcraft, and Modern Murder - Yrsa Sigurdardottir This novel was marketed in a manner that set it up as something of an Icelandic "Da Vinci Code," but in execution, "Last Rituals" is a traditional mystery whose events lack the immediacy and the clever puzzles of that better-known suspense novel, however better written it could arguably be.Another disappointment arises in the shallow depictions of character Sigurðardóttir uses for her cast: they are naive and over-explanatory in a way that may make the reader feel clever, but that same reader is likely far less satisfied by the outcome of events. In fact, the novel lacks a conclusion that feels satisfying at all.The payoff in "Last Rituals" comes from the introduction of some of Iceland's history involving the Catholic Church and Sixteenth Century witchcraft, but even these items trod a muddy path to development.Last Rituals is, of course, the first novel in a series for attorney cum detective Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, so hopefully Sigurðardóttir will either work out the kinks in her new characters, or give them a little more worldliness to handle the kink they encounter in their cases.