My Review (5 stars out of 5)
When six-year-old Isaiah dies after falling from a snow-covered rooftop, the police declare it as an accident. However, the boy’s neighbour, Smilla, happens to be something of an expert in the intricacies of snow and ice and begins to suspect something sinister. Along with her new friend, the mechanic, she sets out to discover the truth, but the more she learns, the greater the danger to her own life.
This is the first book I’ve read by Peter Hoeg and I have to say it ain’t the easiest read. I can see why some readers have been put off by the way the story ambles around with constant flashbacks, going off at tangents involving Smilla’s experiences in Greenland and the author’s tendency to cram overly technical details into the plot. However, aside from that, and the geographical and ice-related facts we encounter later in the book, for the most part, the writing is nothing less than superb. Hoeg’s use of language is highly intelligent, painting characters and images that leap off the page at every turn. Though it’s not exactly a murder/mystery, the heroine’s journey takes her into dangerous territory and for much of the time we don’t have any idea where the story is leading. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating read, and I’ll definitely be delving into the author’s back catalogue again.