Wellllll technically I'm a bit behind with the "paperwork" so I'm already about a third of the way through this, and it's really very good. Very sad to note that the translation was done by Bernard Scudder - what a great service that man has provided to readers of Icelandic crime fiction. He'll be greatly missed.
"The head caretaker, Tryggvi, stood idly by the coffee maker. The sound of boiling water dripping through the machine was the only thing to be heard in the empty building, which housed the university's History department. Soon the bustling cleaners would arrive, chatting and giggling, dragging their carts and vacuums out of the housekeeping room. The caretaker revelled in the silence and the aroma of brewing coffee."
At a university in Reykjavík, the body of a young German student is discovered, his eyes cut out and strange symbols carved into his chest. Police waste no time in making an arrest, but the victim's family isn't convinced that the right man is in custody. They ask Thóra Guðmundsdóttir, an attorney and single mother of two, to investigate. It isn't long before Thóra and her associate, Matthew Reich, uncover the deceased student's obsession with Iceland's grisly history of torture, execution, and witch hunts. But there are very contemporary horrors hidden in the long, cold shadow of dark traditions. And for two suddenly endangered investigators, nothing is quite what it seems ... and no one can be trusted.