Operation Napoleon

Operation Napoleon
Arnaldur Indridason
Reviewed by Sheila O'Reilly
Thu, 04/08/2011

First published in 1999, Operation Napoleon is not quite the dark Icelandic thriller we have come to know from Indridason - and it also does not feature his normal protagonist, detective Erlendur.

Having said that this is an excellent thriller. It opens in 1945 when a German plane carrying a suspicious cargo, flown by an American with a senior German officer on board, crashlands on a glacier in Iceland and disappears in the snow and ice. The story then leaps to 1999 when the plane is spotted by satellite and the Americans arrive to remove the plane and its cargo with devastating consequences.

By coincidence two young Icelanders become involved – but will pay with their lives. Before they are captured, one of the pair contacts his sister, Kristin, who will not rest until she discovers the truth of her brother’s fate.

Her pursuit puts her in great danger, leading her on a long and hazardous journey in search of the key to the riddle about "Operation Napoleon". Reads more like a Harlen Coben thriller and that’s a compliment!

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