Where the Shadows Lie (Hardcover)

By Michael Ridpath

Minotaur Books, 9780312675035, 352pp.

Publication Date: August 2, 2011



An ancient saga. A modern legend. A secret worth killing for.

Amid Iceland’s wild, volcanic landscape, rumors swirl of an ancient manuscript inscribed with a long-lost saga about a ring of terrible power. A rediscovered saga alone would be worth a fortune, but, if the rumors can be believed, there is something much more valuable about this one. Something worth killing for. Something that will cost Professor Agnar Haraldsson his life.

Untangling murder from myth is Iceland-born, Boston-raised detective Magnus Jonson. On loan to the Icelandic Police Force for his own protection after a Massachusetts drug cartel puts a bounty on his head, Magnus is eager work the Haraldsson case, a rare lethal crime for the island nation.  But his unorthodox investigative technique soon gets him into trouble with his more traditional superiors, intensifying his mixed feelings about returning to his native country—a place of tangled family loyalties haunted by his father’s unsolved murder—after nearly two decades. And as Magnus is about to discover, the past casts a long shadow in Iceland.

Binding Iceland’s landscape and history, secrets and superstitions in a strikingly original plot in the tradition of Arnaldur Indridason and Henning Mankell, Where the Shadows Lie is a heart-pounding new series from an established master.

About the Author

MICHAEL RIDPATH spent eight years as a bond trader in London before giving up his job to write full-time. He is the bestselling author of eight financial thrillers and has been published in 38 languages. "Where the Shadows Lie" is the first in a new series featuring detective Magnus Jonson. He lives in north London with his wife and three children. Visit him online at www.michaelridpath.com.

Praise For Where the Shadows Lie

Praise for Where the Shadows Lie and Michael Ridpath:

"Michael Ridpath is on the war path, trouncing the Scandinavians on their home turf.   This is international thriller writing at its best, fine characters, page turning suspense and a great, fresh location." --Peter James, #1 international bestselling author of Dead Like You

“The latest novel by British crime writer Ridpath is highly imaginative, with a striking setting and a marvelous story… Ridpath does a fine job of immersing us in Icelandic culture, and Magnus, who is the anchor of a proposed series of novels, is a thoroughly fascinating character, not so much a fish out of water as a man reconnecting with his own heritage. Exotic and compelling, a first-class mystery.” –Booklist, starred review

"Ridpath smoothly melds history, legend, and a police procedural in this first of a crime series set in Iceland... Ridpath deftly explores the influence myths have on contemporary, credit-strapped Iceland." --Publishers Weekly

"This highly atmospheric and addictive thriller brings in elements that will entice both crime fiction and fantasy readers. If your readers like a treasure-hunting chase, give them this one. With Tolkien groupies, Internet hacking, and revenge, this title has no shortage of appeal. Clearly, Ridpath, the author of eight financial thrillers, has his own trilogy in mind." --Library Journal, starred review

"Michael Ridpath’s latest offering, “Where the Shadows Lie” is a tight mix of crime and lore that takes the reader on a journey from crime-ridden streets to the slopes of a mysterious volcano. Fast-paced and well written, Ridpath keeps your attention while exploring 10th century sagas, corrupt policemen, contract killers, fanboys, family secrets, and a magical ring... Ridpath’s research into Iceland and its people, customs, and geography, makes the British author seem native. “Where the Shadows Lie” has a lot going for it and the reward is worth the journey." --Suspense Magazine

“A clever blend of murder mystery, myth and up-tothe- minute mayhem.. . Whether you’re a fan of orcs, Gimli and Legolas or Elmore Leonard and “The Sopranos”, there’s something in this. . . thriller for you.”  —The London Times

“This is a good story set in a fascinating place and spiced with some sharp observation.”  —Literary Review

“A superbly entertaining thriller. . . Michael Ridpath, no stranger to big sales figures, has another hit on his hands.”  —Shots Magazine

Where the Shadows Lie is ingenious, and briskly narrated. Like many good thriller writers, Ridpath is adept at informing as well as thrilling — you can learn a great deal about Iceland, ancient and modern, here, and it’s fascinating stuff.”  –The Spectator

“Ridpath has that read-on factor that sets bestsellers apart” --The Guardian (UK)

“A five-star effort as an entry in the select genre called ‘Icelandic novels written by non-Icelanders’” --IceNews

"Fascinating echoes of Tolkien and Njal’s Saga and acute observations about the distinctive culture of Iceland." --Kirkus

"Fascinating... A real page-turner, and if you are a saga or Lord of the Rings fan, you'll like it even more." --Lögberg-Heimskringla

"The vivid descriptions of the modern city of Reykjavik contrast sharply with the eerie landscape of the Icelandic countryside, where the clues to Haraldsson's death lead the investigation. Michael Ridpath has created a mystery whose eccentric characters seem like they might have come from Middle Earth. The only question is whether or not Magnus will be able to separate truth from myth and find the killer before the Dominicans find him." --Jessica Howard, bookseller, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

"The plot and characters in this novel are outstanding, and the unusual locale simply adds to the pleasure of reading this book." --marilynsreads.com