Book Review – Where Blood Runs Cold by Giles Kristian (not historical fiction:))

Here’s the blurb:

Erik Amdahl and his spirited daughter, Sofia, have embarked on a long-promised cross-country ski trip deep into Norway’s arctic circle. For Erik, it’s the chance to bond properly with his remaining daughter following a tragic accident. For Sofia, it’s the proof she needs that her father does care.

Then, far from home in this snowbound wilderness, with night falling and the mercury plummeting, an accident sends them in search of help – and shelter. Nearby is the home of a couple – members of Norway’s indigenous Sami people – who they’ve met before, and who welcome them in. Erik is relieved. He believes the worst is over. He thinks that Sofia is now safe. He could not be more wrong. He and Sofia are not the old couple’s only visitors that night – and soon he and Sofia will be running for their lives . . .

…and beneath the swirling light show of the Northern Lights, a desperate fight ensues – of man against man, of man against nature – a fight for survival that plays out across the snow and ice.

A story of endurance and of the desperate, instinctive will to survive, of a father’s love for his child, of knowing when to let go – and of a daughter’s determination to prove herself worthy of that love, Where Blood Runs Cold is a pulse-racing thriller from a master storyteller.

Review

Where Blood Runs Cold is a thrilling, snow-bound adventure set in northern Norway by Giles Kristian, an author I last encountered offering a retelling of some Arthurian Legends. Quite a sea-change to modern-day Norway,

I confess, the book starts a little awkwardly as there’s quite a bit going on for the main character, Erik, but I sat and read the first 25% in one setting, and the tension quickly ramps up and I was entirely hooked. It’s one of those books that draws you in and you’re immediately expecting all sorts of bad things to happen, and the author toys with the reader a little; some of your fears come true, and some of them don’t. But the reader is quickly rooting for the main character, and wondering how on earth anyone can survive outside when it’s so bitterly cold.

I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of the Sami into the narrative, and also the slightly otherworldly element. The brief discourses into how climate change is affecting the area are a sad reflection on how far it’s gone, and the effect it’s having on the local population.

The story built to an intriguing grand finale which was satisfying to the reader who’d been swept along, quite literally, by the raging winter storms and the compelling narrative.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a change to my normal read, just as it’s a change for the author, but it’s excellent. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy.

Where Blood Runs Cold is released today, 24th February, and is available from all good book sellers as well as Amazon.