Read season of the witch by Árni Þórarinsson Anna Yates Online

season-of-the-witch

Newspaper reporter Einar has given up his old stomping ground of chronicling the crime beat in Reykjavik, and moved to the small town of Akureyri, where he’s expected to boost the circulation of the Evening Press. But on his way to a theater rehearsal, Einar finds himself covering a hotter piece of news: a local woman has fallen to her death in an obscure river accident duNewspaper reporter Einar has given up his old stomping ground of chronicling the crime beat in Reykjavik, and moved to the small town of Akureyri, where he’s expected to boost the circulation of the Evening Press. But on his way to a theater rehearsal, Einar finds himself covering a hotter piece of news: a local woman has fallen to her death in an obscure river accident during a company team-building adventure. This is the first – but not the last – death to occur in a sinister course of events that unfold. Arni Thorarinsson intertwines historical heritage with his sensitive perceptions of Icelandic society, weaving an intricate narrative in which each riddle triggers the next....

Title : season of the witch
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13447568
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

season of the witch Reviews

  • Victoria
    2019-02-27 16:57

    Despite getting off to a rather uneven start, I ended up really enjoying this Icelandic murder mystery. The cadence and style of the writing took me a little while to become accustomed to it. The first person narrative felt... odd. And the reason that seemed to have caused this is pretty strange - but both the writer (and narrator, Einar) are male, and the book was translated by a woman, which seemed to lend Einar a slightly feminine feel - more in a tonality than specific lines of the novel. Unfortunately, this made it slightly confusing, as I made it about twenty or so pages in, thinking Einar was a woman (I am not very familiar with Icelandic names, so this wasn’t really a gender cue for me), until Googling it to be certain and starting the book over with this new knowledge in hand. Maybe gender should be a consideration in the translation process - or at least if it is a story told in the first person... Either way, this is the first time that I have ever noticed anything like this!Anyhow, after my confusion cleared away, I quickly became absorbed not only with the setting and plot, but also with the characters and the wonderfully natural dialogue between them. Thoararinsson integrated plenty of humour within these exchanges, making the novel even more fun. I especially loved the inclusion of song lyrics from Donovan (hence the title), even to Bob Dylan and the Beatles! And though the character names definitely added to the foreign feel, the book shared some common ground that fans of other Scandinavian fiction will find familiar. The backdrop of changing economics, politics and reactions to these changes definitely appeared in other Icelandic, Swedish and Danish mysteries that I have read in the past few years. But this theme merely underscored the novel, and never dominated the plot. And the plot was perhaps one of the strongest features here - full of twists, turns and surprises.My only real complaint? Several moments throughout the book gave me that sense that this book is part of a series - and not the first installment. So, if that is the case, I sincerely hope that the remaining past and future books will appear Stateside soon!

  • Ann-Marie
    2019-03-07 22:21

    A funny, excentric reporter in the outback of Iceland solving murder mysteries in a manner from a long time ago. No gruesome details, no explicit sex, no police procedural. I really enjoyed it and hope to read more about Einar.

  • Pöfivonat
    2019-03-05 19:22

    Nagyon kellemes olvasmány volt, szerethető szereplőkkel. A cselekmény nem túl pörgős, ellenben érdekes. A könyv pikantériája a számomra kimondhatatlan nevek, érdemes őket gyorsan, visszafele olvasni. :DEgy kérdésem maradt csak: Miért a negyedik részt adták ki először? o.O

  • Doreen
    2019-03-15 14:21

    Einar, a recovering alcoholic and former Reykjavík crime reporter, has been banished to Akureyri, but crime seems to have followed him. A local woman falls overboard during a whitewater rafting corporate team-building exercise but the victim’s mother refuses to believe it was an accident. Then the lead actor in a high school stage production about a sorcerer’s apprentice goes missing and is later found dead. Einar begins investigating and soon thinks the two cases might be connected.This is the fourth book in a series featuring Einar though it is the first to be translated into English. The characterization of the protagonist and his relationships with his superiors at the newspaper hint at backstories probably developed in the earlier books. Why not begin translating the beginning of a series? (I encountered the same issues with Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole books.)The novel is narrated in the first person by Einar. He comes across as a likeable person despite his flaws. His attitude to his superiors suggests he has problems with authority figures, although why he does is not explained. What is also missing is self-reflection; instead, there is social commentary. For instance, he focuses on Icelanders’ reactions to immigrant workers and the scourge of drug usage amongst young people. Part of what makes Einar likeable is his sense of humour. There are several episodes that add comic relief. In particular, Einar’s relationship with a parrot adds touches of light-heartedness throughout. Not that there is a great deal of tension or suspense. The plot meanders and there is very little sense of imminent danger. So this book is not for those looking for a real thriller. There is considerable focus on the play which the students are performing. Since I am unfamiliar with Loftur the Sorcerer, the tragedy written by Jóhann Sigurjónsson, I think I missed the significance of many of the references. All I know is that the Faustian play, based on a popular Icelandic folktale, is about a student who sells his soul to the devil. This cannot be called a gripping mystery, but I found it charming and entertaining. The fact that I visited Akureyri recently probably coloured my enjoyment of the book. I will keep checking to see if more of the series is translated; I would definitely read them. Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).

  • Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
    2019-02-23 18:25

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsSeason Of The Witch was a surprising read for me. Its chatty style felt more like a cosy mystery than the Scandi-noir I was expecting from the cover art. The novel is written in the first person from journalist Einar's point of view so we get to understand his character pretty well. Other people aren't so completely portrayed and some, such as the editor back on Reykjavik, felt stereotyped. The central mystery is an interesting idea, but it is intertwined with other personal storylines that I felt were included more for padding than necessity. The dog's disappearance for example leads into deep emotional territory, but this isn't explored more than superficially.For a light post-Christmas read, Season Of The Witch fulfilled its purpose. It is entertaining and gives an idea of life in small-town Iceland - very different to that of the city! I didn't need to have read the earlier books in the series as the story here stands well alone. I just would personally have preferred less cosiness!

  • AngryGreyCat
    2019-03-18 21:58

    This is the fourth book in the Einar series and I have not read the first three and don’t really know the whole story why Einar appears to have been exiled from Reykjavik to this much more isolated outpost. Einar is a journalist and he falls into murder investigations through his work for the paper.The voice of Einar is written somewhat strangely. It took me a while to realize he was a man, there was just something about it that made me assume Einar was female. The mystery is fine, although I didn’t like his decision about the resolution at the end. The other characters are ok and even provide some comic relief. By the end, I was drawn into the story, but it is not one of my favourite series. I’m not sure I would read more in this series.

  • Suspense Magazine
    2019-03-24 17:11

    Icelandic newspaper reporter Einar has failed at pretty much everything that matters: as a reporter, as a husband, and as a father. Now he has been assigned to the northern city of Akureyri, far from bustling Rekyjavik as a last chance to keep his job with the Evening News. Here the former crime reporter must—to his chagrin—turn his talents to penning stories about high school play productions and lost dogs…or at least until the first body pops up.So begins this Nordic knot of a story where the strands and strains of daily modern Icelandic life weave together to create a perplexing pattern of envy, greed, and lust. Einar follows these strands, one by one and through every twist and turn as he unravels the mystery confronting him. To this end, he is both helped by Jóa, the pretty young staff photographer and stymied by Ásbörn, their burned out local bureau chief.Central to the story is the presence of charismatic young Skarphédinn, cast in the lead role of a coming production of “Loftur the Sorcerer.” All the local women, young and old alike, adore him, perhaps a little too much, while a gang of local young toughs appear ready to declare war against him. Meanwhile, at the other end of the economic scale, powerful and politically connected industrialists make clear their interests in keeping, to all outward appearances, everything neat and tidy.In the end, a line from the play performed sums up the crucial crux of this tangled tale: “The most painful thing of all is to find out that the one who possesses you, heart and soul, is evil.”Reviewed by Andrew MacRae, author of “Murder Misdirected” for Suspense Magazine

  • Sebastian Hagedorn
    2019-02-25 19:23

    Eine Freundin von mir hat dieses Buch übersetzt, sonst hätte ich es vermutlich nicht gelesen. Ich bin aber froh darum. Es hat ein bisschen gedauert, bis ich reingekommen bin, aber nachher hat mir das Buch ziemlich gut gefallen. Es gibt ein paar Ungereimtheiten, vor allem die Frage, wie Einar ohne Kenntnis der PIN an den Inhalt der SIM-Karte kam, und man kann auch geteilter Meinung über die ethischen Urteile sein, die Einar fällt, aber das tut dem insgesamt positiven Eindruck keinen Abbruch. Die Figuren sind recht dreidimensional gestaltet, sie machen nachvollziehbare Entwicklungen durch, und man erfährt viel über die isländische Gesellschaft und Lebensweise. Es ist aber m.E. kein Krimi zum "Mitraten", weil der Leser dafür nicht genügend Informationen erhält.Von der Hauptfigur, dem Reporter Einar, gibt es im Original schon eine ganze Reihe von Krimis. Ich hoffe, dass das Buch sich so gut verkauft, dass ich die Gelegenheit erhalten werde, auch noch weitere Bände der Reihe zu lesen.

  • Booknblues
    2019-03-03 15:03

    Season of the WitchBy Arni Thorarinsson3 starspp.224It was nice to get a picture of Iceland while reading Arni Thorarinsson’s fourth of the series, but first published in English, Season of the Witch. The protagonist, Einar is a journalist who covers crime. He has been banished from the capital, Reykjavík and now covers Northern Iceland.Starting with the fourth of a series, one misses some of the back story of the protagonist and must fill in the where possible. It appears the Einar used to bend his elbow a bit but is now trying to dry up. He has a teenage daughter who he doesn’t live with but loves and he has a parrot. He is an intrepid investigator and that is what makes him interesting.The story is intricate and interesting. I did have some problems with the resolution and the use of justice. I suppose each reader will have to answer if this satisfies their moral code.I do think that this was interesting enough and promising to read more of the series, when they become available in English.

  • Marije
    2019-03-25 18:59

    For some reason, I just didn't 'feel' this book. I think I expected more dramatic Icelandic nature, to lose myself in the dark, desolate beauty and grimness of the northern wild. But it was hard to get more than names and places from this book. It was as if I was reading a book-adaptation of a movie.Telling instead of showing is not always a bad thing, but in this case it is.

  • Carol Jean
    2019-03-10 16:03

    Chatty Icelandic murder mystery with a newspaper reporter protagonist. Amusing and entertaining, but not terribly involving, somehow.

  • Jean-Luc
    2019-03-22 14:04

    N'attendez pas le suspense d'une enquête policière...peut-être au mieux état des lieux du malaise social et économique que peut vivre l'Islande et sa jeunesse.

  • Reetta Saine
    2019-03-02 20:00

    Islantilaista noir-dekkaria, hmmm... Tunnelma toimi, päähenkilö oli marlowemainen geysir-lisällä. Juoni hatara, liikaa sivuja. Tietopaketti, jollaista ei matkaoppaan sivuilta löydä. Ok.

  • Jane Segal
    2019-03-22 17:09

    I'm fascinated by Iceland. This book takes place in a remote northern city; the amateur sleuth is a journalist who must unravel the quaint city facade to solve several local murders. Great background and character development.

  • Heather
    2019-03-23 15:57

    Pretty standard mystery. It was worthwhile for me due to my Iceland obsession, but I would recommend anyone go out of the way to read this one unless the obsession is mutual.

  • Buchdoktor
    2019-02-24 14:55

    Die isländische "Afternoon News" hat sich auf ihre Leser und Anzeigenkunden außerhalb der Hauptstadt besonnen und eine Lokalredaktion in der Kleinstadt Akureyri eingerichtet. Einar, die Hauptfigur in Thórarinssons Islandkrimi, soll die Arbeit machen, Ásbjörn mimt den Chef und Jóa unterstützt das neue Büro als Fotografin. In den ersten drei Bänden der Reihe (von denen nur Die verschwundenen Augen (1.) ins Deutsche übersetzt wurde) ermittelte Einar noch in der isländischen Hauptstadt. Die Versetzung der beiden Männer in die Provinz als Folge eines Herausgeberwechsels ihrer Zeitung ist als berufliche Degradierung gemeint und wird von beiden auch so empfunden. Einar muss früher gern tief ins Glas geschaut haben und versteht es, der Arbeit möglichst aus dem Weg zu gehen. So gerät er gleich zu Beginn der Geschichte mit seinem Chefredakteur aneinander, der nicht akzeptieren will, dass im Zeitalter elektronischer Kommunikation der Informationsfluss aus der kleinen Außenstelle angeblich langsamer fließen soll als noch zur Zeit des Bleisatzes. Einar soll nun einerseits das Blatt täglich mit Informationen aus dem Norden versorgen, andererseits erfährt er halboffizielle Dinge, die seine Informanten ausdrücklich nicht für die Presse freigeben.In der Woche vor Ostern werden zwei Todesfälle gemeldet. Zunächst ist die Frau eines Süßigkeitenfabrikanten an den Folgen eines Rafting-Unfalls verstorben. Kurz darauf wird auf der städtischen Müllkippe die stark angesengte Leiche eines Oberstufenschülers gefunden, der mit seiner Theatergruppe "Loftur, der Magier" probte, eine isländische Version des Dr. Faust. Obwohl in einer Kleinstadt von nur 20 000 Einwohnern die Informationen zu beiden Toten geschmeidig fließen müssten und die Theatergruppe des toten Skarphédinn als Informanten zur Verfügung steht, laufen Einars Ermittlungen nur zögernd an. Ohne mit Sozialkritik zu penetrant zu nerven, charakterisiert Thórarinsson, der selbst Journalist ist, den sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Hintergrund Islands. Der Strukturwandel von Schwerindustrie und Fischfang zu Energieerzeugung und Tourismus ist zum Zeitpunkt der Handlung noch nicht in Gang gekommen. Junge Isländer auf Jobsuche müssen aus der Provinz abwandern. Angesichts der Zuwanderer aus fremden Kulturen, die für schlechtbezahlte Jobs angeworben werden, macht sich unter Jugendlichen rechtsradikales Gedankengut breit. Einar würde gern für seine Zeitung über die Profiteure der wirtschaftlichen Neuordnung schreiben. Dass er bisher nicht viel mehr lieferte als die Meldung über einen vermissten Hund, hat auch mit der Wagenburgmentalität lokaler Seilschaften zu tun.Ári Thórarinsson lässt seinen schnoddrigen und dabei phlegmatischen Ermittler in dem beruflichen Umfeld handeln, das ihm selbst als Journalist vertraut ist. Wer in einem Krimi weder einen steilen Spannungsbogen noch unappetitliche Details erwartet und Geduld für die sozialkritischen Töne aufbringt, wird sich mit Thórarinssons widerspenstigem Laien-Ermittler gut unterhalten. Jóa in ihrer Nebenrolle hat sich in Akureyri aktuell in eine Frau verliebt, so dass in weiteren Folgen der Reihe das Privatleben der drei Zeitungsmitarbeiter noch Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten hat. "Season of the witch" wurde in Deutschland bereits unter dem wenig treffenden Titel Todesgott veröffentlicht. Der Autor ist hier mit seiner Krimireihe unglücklich gestartet; denn der erste Band ist nicht mehr erhältlich und Band 2 und 3 wurden noch nicht übersetzt. Nach Ein Herz so kalt (Band 5) warten bereits Band 6 und 7 auf die Übersetzung aus dem Isländischen.Das HandwerklicheBei amazon-crossing erscheint "Seasons of the witch" als Paperback, das in Format und Seitenlayout den deutschen Klappenbroschuren entspricht. Der Band ist in der Breite 1cm und in der Länge knapp 2cm größer als ein gewöhnliches Taschenbuch. Mit großzügigem Zeilendurchschuss und eingezogenen Zeilenanfängen wirkt das Layout augenfreundlicher als das eines normalen Taschenbuchs, selbst wenn objektiv die Schriftgröße dem eines Taschenbuchs entspricht. Anders als wir es in Deutschland gewohnt sind, findet sich im ganzen Text kein isländischer Buchstabe, alle Eigennamen wurden in die Schrift Resteuropas transkribiert. Mit Seitenüberschriften und Kurzbiografien des Autors und der Übersetzerin macht das Buch optisch einen guten Eindruck. Zur professionellen Verlegertätigkeit fehlt nur die Reihenzählung oder die deutlichere Angabe des Originaltitels, die die Suche der Leser, um welchen Band der Reihe es sich hier handelt, erheblich vereinfachen würde.----------------------------------1. (1998) Die verschwundenen Augen, Nóttin hefur þúsund augu, Verlagshaus No. 8, nicht lieferbar2. (2000) Hvíta kanínan3. (2001) Blátt tungl4. (2005) Todesgott, Seasons of the witch, Tími nornarinnar5. (2007) Ein Herz so kalt, Dauði trúðsins6. (2008) Sjöundi sonurinn7. (2010) Morgunengill

  • LindaBranham Greenwell
    2019-03-13 21:05

    A recovering alcoholic newspaper reporter, Einar is sent to a small town in the northern Iceland for a second chance and a new start. His main assignment is to write human interest stories, but soon Einar finds himself delving into into some mysterious events that are happening in the small town.I found the first approximately 90 pages to not be very interesting - more background on the characters - but then it picks up and became a very good story

  • Joshua Buhs
    2019-03-11 14:19

    Interesting, but not usually for the expected reasons.I no nothing about Icelandic literature, and almost nothing about the country--Bjork's from there, I think. So I cannot say I have a great conceptual framework into which to place this book. But it looked interesting enough and was titled "Season of the Witch"--at the time, I was buying books with that title. I cannot say I am upset that I read it, but I don't think that I got everything out of it I could, both because I read it in translation and because I know so little about Iceland.The translation, I assume, accounts for some of the stodginess of the prose--or maybe that's just Icelandic style. I don't know. But bits of the book read like someone who's never heard of the concept of a joke trying to make one--because Thorarnsson does have a sense of humor about everything. It's just hard to see,. And when it comes though most clearly at the end seems way out of place.There are also lots of references I don't get. The book, for example, is in constant dialogue with a century-old Icelandic saga. There are obvious points of contact, and the author brings them out, but I suspect I am missing some of the weight of the connections simply because I am unfamiliar with the referenced material. I also don't always get the politics. And there is something going on with pets throughout the whole story--birds and dogs--that I think the author is using to make some point, but I do not know what that point is.The mystery itself is never more than a diversion, and fairly easily solved once the protagonist--a former drunk reporter re-assigned to city to the sticks with a boos he hates (hello, boatload of cliches!)--once the protagonist decides to talk to those closest to the events, the family. There's no reason given for his delay, except politeness. Maybe that's an Icelandic thing, too, but as a plot device it seems dodgy.The real interest in the story is seeing the strains of modernity on Icelandic society. In that sense, the book is not unlike Tana French's series of the Dublin (Ireland) murder squad. In this case, though, it's less the way neo-Liberal policies have left the countryside dotted with ghost towns, than the introduction of drugs combined with a loss of job opportunities. (Think of it as The Wire in Iceland.) The book does, unfortunately, tie itself up with too much of a bow--it is too satisfied with its own analysis of the situation. But, before that, it's an interesting glimpse into a changing social world about which I had no idea--the novel as something new.

  • Gretel
    2019-03-05 20:15

    Season of the Witch is an Icelandic crime mystery, set in the northern town of Akureyri. According to Wikipedia, it has a population of 17,754. Considering how many people meet a grim end in this story, you'd think the town would have the same crime rate of an inner city ghetto. Putting that aside, I thought the novel was ok. It is told from the perspective of Einar, a journalist from Reykjavík who has recently relocated to Akureyri with his job. Going from Iceland's capital city to 'the sticks', he finds he has a lot less to write about and trivial stories to report on. Things become strange when a woman drowns and a high school student dies. Einar sticks his nose into these stories and tries to get to the bottom of them.I like the setting (or more the idea of the setting), but there isn't much description of the landscape. I didn't get a feel of Akureyri. I also feel as though Einar has some missing backstory. Being this the fourth in the series and the first translated into English, this is probably the case. Einar has a past which is only hinted to, never explored, such as his daughter's boyfriend's mother is someone he hints about having a past relationship with. If the other books do get translated into English I think I will read them, as I think Einar may have a pretty interesting past. I feel as if the author drags the story out a little and it has a lot of padding. There's a lot of dialogue, a lot of it bearing little relevance to the mysteries in the story and diminishing any tension. Many chracters are charicatures, but I do like Polly the bird and Lóa the photographer. It takes a while to gain traction and get going. There is a good story there and Einar has potential, I think this could've had a better edit. I will say that I did enjoy the author's humour, though. The last page had me laughing.All in all, pretty average, but I would read other Einar books.

  • Andrew Macrae
    2019-03-21 17:24

    SEASON OF THE WITCH By Arni ThorarinssonIcelandic newspaper reporter Einar has failed at pretty much everything that matters: as a reporter, as a husband, and as a father. Now he has been assigned to the northern city of Akureyri, far from bustling Rekyjavik as a last chance to keep his job with the Evening News. Here the former crime reporter must—to his chagrin—turn his talents to penning stories about high school play productions and lost dogs...or at least until the first body pops up.So begins this Nordic knot of a story where the strands and strains of daily modern Icelandic life weave together to create a perplexing pattern of envy, greed, and lust. Einar follows these strands, one by one and through every twist and turn as he unravels the mystery confronting him. To this end, he is both helped by Jóa, the pretty young staff photographer and stymied by Ásbörn, their burned out local bureau chief.Central to the story is the presence of charismatic young Skarphédinn, cast in the lead role of a coming production of “Loftur the Sorcerer.” All the local women, young and old alike, adore him, perhaps a little too much, while a gang of local young toughs appear ready to declare war against him. Meanwhile, at the other end of the economic scale, powerful and politically connected industrialists make clear their interests in keeping, to all outward appearances, everything neat and tidy.In the end, a line from the play performed sums up the crucial crux of this tangled tale: “The most painful thing of all is to find out that the one who possesses you, heart and soul, is evil.”Reviewed by Andrew MacRae, author of “Murder Misdirected” for Suspense Magazine

  • Andy Bryant
    2019-03-03 20:05

    Having read through other Goodreads reviewers' comments on this I'd have to agree with those who gave it three or less stars - it's an OK read and there's some really good prose in here in places, but the story/plot itself - while interesting - was thin in places and by the end you have the impression the book is a pretty straightforward tale that's been overstretched and padded.The principal characters aren't particularly well drawn, especially the protagonist. For a reader giving up smoking, this book would be a nightmare to read - Einar absolutely loves his cigarettes, and pretty much each one he smokes (there's a lot of them) is described with rather too much relish.The main disappointment for me though was the treatment of the setting - the thing that drew me to the book. It's set in the remote north and east of Iceland, and I was hoping for a story that gave a real sense of this part of the country, which I know absolutely nothing about. Unfortunately though, the book doesn't really capture any sense of place at all. The underlying social commentary around immigration and its effect on Icelandic society and politics seemed completely arbitrary and, ultimately, not even remotely relevant to the story - so the opportunity to make this distinctively a story about Iceland and its people was missed. As other reviewers have said, it could have been set pretty much anywhere in Europe.The overall sense I got from the story was that none of the principal characters wanted to be out in the sticks, all of them wishing they could be in Reykjavik where the action is. I got the impression that the author felt pretty much the same.

  • Molly
    2019-03-12 22:04

    Because I'm beginning to dig into my own work on witches, I have been exploring the various ways in which witches are used in pop culture and the like. Unfortunately, this was only a diversion, but because my husband wanted to go to Iceland for our honeymoon, I figured it wouldn't be a full loss, leaving me geographically curious.Unfortunately, this mystery felt a bit flat--because of the strange tone, the odd attempts at humor, nothing ever truly felt at risk.At times, the author would give us a didactic non-sequitur, such as:"Just after boys stopped walking around with their jeans falling off and their shorts showing, the fashion world succeeded in convincing girls it was their turn to walk around half-undressed. And so it goes on. Once upon a time, I used to keep up with fashion. Now fashion doesn’t keep up with me. How can you make a girl believe that a muffin-top of naked blubber sagging over her waistband is sexy? It may be kind of cute, and relaxed, and remind us that we all have a tummy. But sexy? And what about the boys walking around with their hairy ass cracks on show, thinking there’s something cool about it? How can that happen? Is there anything that isn’t possible? I wonder as I smoke my cigarette."The mystery itself folds together nicely at the end, but it doesn't give us enough reason to care throughout. I think there were opportunities--sympathy or curiosity or even a Dan Brown-ish pulse. Instead, I keep thinking of this character, soggy and dull, smoking a cigarette while asking strangers on the street random "Questions of the Day," calling this journalism in some confused way.

  • Rick
    2019-03-24 18:25

    In Árni Thórarinsson’s SEASON OF THE WITCH, Reykjavík crime reporter Einar is transferred to the paper’s somewhat slower paced Akureyri office. Shortly after his arrival in the north, a woman on a corporate excursion dies unexpectedly, and after that a popular young student is murdered. Einar spends the rest of the novel investigating the two deaths.The student, Skarphédinn Valgardsson, was about to star in a performance of Jóhann Sigurjónsson’s play LOFTUR THE SORCERER, based on a popular Icelandic folk legend, in which the title character is a seminarian who has mastered the art of black magic.In the course of the novel, the author also alludes to the medieval NJAL’S SAGA. The names Skarphédinn Valgardsson and Mördur Njálsson, for example, are reversals from the saga and no doubt provide an immediate clue to Icelandic readers.SEASON OF THE WITCH is about parents and children, good and evil, and relative power, and the author examines the very modern problems of technology, drugs and violent crime in the context of the Icelandic literary tradition.The analogy to NJAL’S SAGA only gets you so far, but the novel starts during Easter week, while one of the main events of the saga is the conversion of Iceland to Christianity. Violence is equally a theme in both texts, as is good and evil and the relationship between parents and children.Despite the novel’s highly unpromising title, which makes it sound like young adult fiction, I recommend SEASON OF THE WITCH to anyone with an interest in original, creative fiction, or who has some interest in Iceland or its literature.

  • Sharon Bressen
    2019-03-03 18:04

    Season of the WitchBy: Arni ThorarinssonA copy of this book was received from the Amazon Vine Program. This is my first novel by Arni Thorarinsson but will not be my last. A recovering alcoholic newspaper reporter, Einar is sent to a small town in the northern Iceland for a second chance and a new start. His principal assignment is to write human interest stories and frivolous fluff, but soon Einar is himself dragged into some mysterious events. Why does a local woman just fall from a boat and drown while on a corporate team-building excursion? Why does well-liked teenager murdered on the night he was going to star in a high-school play? Even though the police do not share any facts, Einar does not ignore the mysteries. Are these two events related? He is determined to find the connection and solve the two mysteries. His snooping lands him in several treacherous dangerous clashes and causing some disclosures that are hard to handle.His amateur sleuthing leads to some dangerous confrontations and heart-breaking revelations. So what's the ending? You have to read the story to find out this fascinating tale.Author Arni Thorarinsson writes some very interesting characters, which like us have their own hardships and battles. He shows us the Iceland today is going through many of the same changes we in America are experiencing. The problem of immigration, teen-age turmoil, and the economical struggles are world wide.

  • Lukasz Pruski
    2019-03-04 16:10

    I did not like Arni Thorarinsson's "Season of the Witch". I felt as though I was reading a so-called "young adult mystery" for teenagers. Young people, some of them teenagers, are focal characters in the plot; but seriously, what can be interesting about teenagers? They know that they know everything whereas they know nothing. But even older characters in the novel are not drawn very well; I had difficulty trying to believe they were real people.I love Nordic literature in general (not because of Stieg Larsson), and I rated some Icelandic novels very highly. I learned a lot about Iceland from these books. But although the plot takes place at a remote town in northern Iceland, "Season of the Witch" does not convey any feel for the place. The plot could as well be located in any other town in Europe or in the U.S. There is very little depth in the book. The author tries to show societal problems due to influx of immigrants; he also provides some corporate business background to the plot, but these are shallow observations; they would belong in a paper rather than a novel. In a sense it fits the profession of the main character in the plot, who is a journalist.The author attempts humor, but without much success; the last page of the novel provides a particularly lame example.One and a half stars.

  • Annemarie Solon
    2019-03-09 14:06

    By the end, I was having a pretty good time with this book.But man, it took a looooooooong time to get going. I wasn't actually interested in anything that was happening until about page 100. And still I struggled to get through Einar's (our main character) cliched rants about life in the 21st century. I never got a strong feeling of "place" about Akureyri, except perhaps that it is a smallish city somewhere in northern Europe. It seems to be differentiated from the "big" city of Reykjavik only by the fact that people who come to Akureyri from Reykjavik are generally considered odd, suspicious, or losers, while those making the reverse migration are considered lucky. This stereotype may be accurate as far as it goes, but how does this make Akureyri different from any other not-Reykjavik city in Iceland? Or in any country which crosses the Arctic Circle?So, what hope is there for a mystery with an annoying main character and a weak sense of place? Perhaps the inevitable subplot/parallel but unrelated mystery? Nope. Solved abruptly and unconvincingly just when it seemed about to get interesting.Our man Einar does finally track down enough clues and engage in enough creative thinking to get the plot moving, and the standard cascade of tension-filled events carried me enjoyably to the conclusion. It was just way too much work to get to that point.

  • Rob Kitchin
    2019-03-22 17:19

    Season of the Witch is a mildly entertaining tale set in the north of Iceland. It’s what I would characterise as an ‘okay’ story: it whiled away a few hours without every really capturing the imagination. The story suffers from three main issues. First, the main character is bland and nondescript and is not conflicted enough with respect to his ostracisation to the north, his ‘odd couple’ relationship with his news editor, or staying on the wagon with respect to drinking. Moreover, the author tries to cast him as both a worldly rebel and a decent, moral conservative, and he’s really the latter. The result is a character that doesn’t ring true, who’s difficult to connect to or identify with. The other characters also seem quite weak and superficial in their portrayal. Second, the story is drawn out and meandering and lacks pace and tension. Moreover, the plot just about holds together, but it becomes thin at times. Third, the writing is quite pedestrian, although it does have some nice observations at times, especially when it discusses the play the students are putting on and Icelandic lore. The overall effect is an investigative journalist story that never really seems credible or sparks into life.

  • Nathalie
    2019-02-23 20:21

    Begonnen aan dit verhaal met weinig verwachtingen, omdat ik niet zo'n goede commentaren had gelezen. En hoewel ik dit boek nu ook niet heel goed vond, vond ik het best nog genietbaar om een 1 mei-dag mee door te brengen. Ik stootte in het begin van het boek op een verkeerde vervoeging en ook op veel lange geconstrueerde zinnen, die ook wel van mijn eigen hand zouden kunnen komen, (Ik schijn daar ook last van te hebben, in alle taallessen al gehoord...) en ook geen literaire meerwaarde hadden. Misschien kwam het door de vertaling? Ik kon de verhaallijn wel smaken, hoewel een aantal zaken wel wat te kort en te haastig aan bod kwamen. Alsof er in een Ijslands verhaal altijd wel iets van mystiek moet inzitten, en het levert hier echt geen bijdrage voor het verhaal op. De andere boeken uit de reeks zouden kunnen helpen om de personages beter te leren kennen, maar zijn naar mijn mening niet onmisbaar om het onderzoeksgeval an sich te kunnen volgen. Er zat ook wat humor in, vermomd in een parkiet als sidekick. Daarom vind ik dit dan ook drie sterren op vijf waard: voor sommigen niet goed genoeg, maar nog altijd rekenkundig bekeken 'best ok'. Een concurrent voor de grote Indridason is deze schrijver echter niet.

  • J.R.
    2019-03-21 15:56

    Though less familiar than some of the other Scandinavian settings introduced to crime fiction readers recently, Iceland appears to have many of the same problems confronting other nations of the world—environmental concerns, issues with immigrants, drugs and identity issues.All of these problems have a part in the plot of this thriller which proves more intricate and absorbing than it might at first appear.Einar, a chain-smoking, divorced crime reporter with a drinking problem, is exiled from the big city to the small northern town of Akureyri where he must cope with the problem of finding sufficient news to report, deal with a former editor now reduced to little more than an office manager and a new editor who has no sense of journalism.The pace of his life picks up a bit when the star of a school production of an ancient folktale of ambition and greed is murdered and the mother of the victim of a boating accident accuses her son-in-law of villainy. Einar, a likeable and amusing character, delves into both cases and soon begins to sense a connection.Some may find the pace of this novel a bit slow and with a few too many tangents. But be patient and you’ll find it worth your time.

  • Alain
    2019-02-26 19:12

    Einar, journaliste à Reykjavik est envoyé dans le nord du pays pour y d?velopper une antenne locale du journal. Contre toute attente, la vie en province n?est pas aussi calme que l?on pourrait le penser : une vieille femme accuse son gendre d?avoir assassin? sa femme, un jeune acteur dispara?t et la drogue semble circuler parmi les adolescents avec beaucoup de facilit?. Pour rendre son travail plus int?ressant, et aussi pour ?chapper ? l?ennui qui le mine, Einar va s?impliquer dans la r?solution de ces ?nigmes.Ce n?est pas ? proprement dit un livre policier, l?auteur passe plus de temps ? d?tailler la soci?t? islandaise et ses ?volutions modernes qu?? cr?er un suspens haletant. J?ai trouv? les descriptions sociales et les r?flexions de l?auteur ? ce sujet plus int?ressantes que l??nigme qui est assez l?g?re.