Returning to the Faroe Islands of his birth, a British police detective seeks to unravel his complicated family history and becomes embroiled in a murder investigation.
DI Jan Reyna left the Faroes, a cluster of Danish islands halfway between Norway and Iceland, at age 3 with his mother, who committed suicide soon after. Raised by his aunt and uncle in England, Reyna has returned to his homeland only once until now, when his father, wealthy fishing magnate Signar Ravnsfjall, is gravely injured under strange circumstances. When Reyna arrives, he receives a chilly welcome from his half brother Magnus but is greeted warmly by his cousin Fríða and his other half brother, Kristian. The police, led by detective Hjalti Hentze, want to know why Ravnsfjall was found unconscious in a bloodstained car with a shotgun and a briefcase full of money. Soon, the body of a local man, Tummas Gramm, is found on the beach with a shotgun wound, and once Hentze decides that his chilly British counterpart is actually interested in solving the crime rather than just protecting his estranged family, the two join forces. Reyna, who spends as much time lurking and sulking around his picturesque if unfamiliar birthplace as he does lending the locals his police know-how, discovers that his successful father may be at the center of a blackmail plot that perhaps connects to a decades-old incident or something much fresher, but equally rotten, concerning another family member.
In this first of a planned trilogy, Ould introduces a complicated if perhaps excessively prickly hero whose faults are mostly redeemed by the locked-room allure of the locale.