A well-timed thriller for spooky season, Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s The Prey is full of suspense and the supernatural. A remote village on the south coast of Iceland is thrown into the spotlight when three separate events lead back to the same area. Jóhanna is part of a search and rescue mission that’s been instigated for two missing couples from Reykjavik. Hjövar has recently started working at Stokksnes radar station and experiences some unsettling incidents, and a mystery into a younger sibling after the death of their parents prompts research into the past for two brothers.
The setting succeeds in enhancing the story, with the vast icy wilderness providing the perfect dramatic backdrop. The unresolved elements of the plot were neatly tied up at the end but could have benefited from further explanation to create more feeling after the dramatic events, rather than the sudden climax. Despite this, there is a chilling effect that keeps the pace, particularly due to the intriguing plot. I genuinely didn’t expect the outcome – proving the effectiveness of this mysterious and atmospheric tale.
The Prey, Yrsa Sigurdardottir [trans. Victoria Cribb] (Hodder & Stoughton)
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words RHIANON HOLLEY