Narrator: Davina Porter
Run Time: 12 hours, 12 min
Review Copy Provided by AudiobookJukebox Solid Gold Reviewer program
Officer Gunnhildur, recently promoted from her post in rural Iceland to Reykjavík’s Serious Crime Unit, is tasked with hunting down escaped convict Long Ommi, who has embarked on a spree of violent score-settling in and around the city. Meanwhile, she’s also investigating the murder of a fitness guru in her own city-center apartment. As Gunna delves into the cases, she unearths some unwelcome secrets and influential friends shared by both guru and convict. Set in an Iceland plagued by an ongoing financial crisis, Gunna has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have swept through the country—and the fact that at the highest levels of power, the system’s endemic corruption still leads, inevitably, to murder.
I have to admit after reading the first book in the series, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue. The author provided an interesting look into the world of financial crime, but for some reason it just didn’t really work for me. It wasn’t in the writing style, but rather the subject. However, I typically have a rule of trying at least 2 books in any series before deciding one way or another whether I’ll continue or not. So when the second book showed up as a review copy, I jumped on the chance to listen to it, and see if maybe that changed my level of enjoyment of the series (as it has been known to before – either for the good or the bad). And I was pleasantly surprised.
Cold Comfort pick up a few months after the events of Frozen Assets, and for me, it was like seeing into the lives of Gunnhildur and her family and friends. When it came to character development, I found that this installment had much more description and I felt like I got to know them. Having the narration of Davina Porter also helped, because I can only assume that she received training in how to say certain names and words in Icelandic – although since I don’t speak the language, i can’t say so for sure…The mystery is the story kept me guessing until the very end and the person who did it, wasn’t the one that I expected it to be.
I’ll have to admit that i have a certain bias when it comes to Davina Porter’s narration – to me, she is the epitome of an audiobook narrator and I judge many of the other books that I listen to against my experiences listening to her. And her narration of Cold Comfort didn’t disappoint. For a non-Icelandic speaker, the pronunciation of certain names/words sounded authentic (although, I would love to hear the authors take on that) and it helped me be able to visualize in my head how to sound them out in the future. Although Icelandic, Finnish or another Scandinavian language is on my to-learn pile for sometime in the future. Although I have to admit that a few times while I was listening, I thought that I picked up on more of an English accent than what I assume an Icelandic one would be – but it wasn’t enough to distract me from the narration.
I have been impressed with previous audiobooks released by AudioGO in the past and this one was no exception. I’ll definitely continue to look to them for more audiobooks in the future. All in all, I have to say that I was glad I continued with the series and hope to see book 3 in the near future (the author has the title posted to his website, so I can only hope). I would recommend this series to people who like the slower pace of Henning Mankell, vice the faster Steig Larsson, as well as anyone who likes James Thompson, although Bates isn’t quite as dark.
You can purchase the book from Amazon Cold Comfort: An Officer Gunnhildur Mystery (Officer Gunnhildur Mysteries) (Hardcover), Cold Comfort: An Officer Gunnhildur Mystery (Officer Gunnhildur Mysteries) (Kindle) or Cold Comfort: An Officer Gunnhildur Mystery (Audiobook). If can also be purchased from audible.com (account required).