Near a deserted island off the western coast of Iceland in 1960, the dawning of spring brings new life for the local wildlife. But for the body discovered by three seal hunters, winter is a matter of permanence. After it is found to be a missing Danish cryptographer, the ensuing investigation uncovers a mysterious link between the researcher and a medieval manuscript known as The Book of Flatey
Before long another body is found on the tiny island. This time, in the ancient Viking tradition, the victim’s back has been mutilated with the so-called blood eagle. Kjartan, the district magistrate’s representative sent to investigate the crime, soon finds himself descending into a dark, dangerous world of ancient legends, symbolism, and secret societies to find a killer.
Nominated for the prestigious Glass Key award for Nordic crime fiction, The Flatey Enigma
will keep you guessing until Kjartan has cracked the code.
The Icelandic Isle of Flatey (Click on thumbnails for larger images)
Situated in the middle of Iceland’s Breidafjordur, a large shallow bay encircled by mountains and glaciers, the island of Flatey was a center of Icelandic cultural life in the 13th Century when the medieval manuscript the Flateyjarbók, or Book of Flatey, was constructed. A sparsely populated island that subsisted on seal meat, fishing, and the harvesting of down, author Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson spent his summers on the island as a child and it is this familiarity with the island’s peculiarities, remoteness, and harsh winter climate that made it the perfect setting for his gripping thriller about a series of murders with a mysterious connection to an enigmatic riddle written around the island’s Book of Flatey. Take a peek at the scenery of Flatey below.
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| A map of the Breidafjordur in Iceland. || The author on the island in 1957. || A local cleaning seal pups after the hunt. |
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| The oldest and smallest library in Iceland (est. 1836) is located on the island of Flatey, behind the church. || Flatey's tiny library is where the facsimile of the Book of Flatey is housed. || Inside the library. |