19 Jan 2015

FORTY DAYS WITHOUT SHADOW.



FORTY DAYS WITHOUT SHADOW by OLIVER TUC.

SOURCE: Received for review from Kelsey McBride of Book Publicity Services.

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: Winter is savage and cold in Lapland. When a priceless local relic is stolen from Kautokeino, a village in the middle of the isolated snowy tundra, detectives Klemot Nango - a familiar face in the rural community - and Nina Nansen, fresh out of the local police academy, are called to investigate.

There are just a few days until the locals will host a UN conference on indigenous peoples, and Klemet and Nina are under pressure to retrieve the artefact. When a local reindeer herder is found brutally murdered soon afterwards, Klemet and Nina immediately suspect that the two events are linked. But the villagers don't take kindly to having their secret histories stirred up and the duo is forced to cross the icy landscapes alone in search of the answers that will lead them to a killer.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue. 1693, Central Lapland}: Aslak stumbled, a sign of exhaustion.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 68}: Aslak is half man, half beast. I saw him one day, on all fours, in among his herd. He's the last one on the vidda to castrate his reindeer with his teeth.

MY THOUGHTS: On the one hand, an engaging read, on the other, one I struggled with.

Dark, daunting, poignant. I really enjoyed the depiction of the peoples of this debut novel. Cleverly written, in its use of the crime aspect of the story to tell of a dying society's bloody history whilst at the same time celebrating its efforts to reclaim its cultural identity.

However ....

Way too wordy. Definitely one for those for whom this world is a novelty. Die-hard readers of crime investigation novels (I hesitate to use the word thriller) may well find the pace too slow, the attention to minute detail, whether it be the rounding up of the reindeer, the foods stocked up on on a shopping expedition or, even, how someone smoked a cigarette, cloying.


18 comments:

Brandi Kosiner said...

Dark and daunting certainly sounds great

Kelly said...

This sounds totally different from what I normally read, or at least the setting is really different.

Castrating reindeer with his teeth? Wow.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sometimes I like detail and sometimes it is just too much. I can't get past the castrating by the teeth thing... LOL

Suko said...

Thank you for sharing your sincere thoughts about this new to me book/genre, Tracy. I can't say that I've read any Arctic thrillers.

Stephanie Faris said...

When I find myself in the middle of a book that's way too wordy, I'll often skim. I've gotten pretty good at skimming over the unimportant stuff and getting the overall idea of a section before moving to the next. I just don't have the patience for rambling anymore, especially in a book.

Gina R said...

Dark and daunting caught my attention but the overly wordy aspect is not quite for me. *sigh* Better luck next read.

Melliane said...

First, I really like the cover!!! But well it's not all right? Sorry that you had some good things and some less. Not sure I confess if it's not all good.

Brian Joseph said...

That is some quote that you included under the memorable moment!

I might actually enjoy the wordiness combined with the darkness. If not handled correctly however, such writing can get boring.

Sherry Ellis said...

Wordiness can really slow down the pace. I recently read a book I felt was too wordy, as well.

Alexia561 said...

I'm currently struggling with a too-wordy story, and it's driving me crazy! I think I'll try Stephanie's method of skimming to see if that helps. You would think that a good editor would tighten things up? Don't think this one is for me, but castrating reindeer with his teeth? Whoa! :o

Aunt Mary said...

I like to read crime thriller, but as you said.. it is too wordy, so it's not for me.
Great review Tracy :)

Literary Feline said...

When I saw the title of this book, I immediately thought of my daughter who is fascinated with all things Arctic right now. I think it's because that's what she's learning in school. I doubt she'd like this book though. :-)

It does sound like something I might like. Wordiness can bother me sometimes, but not always. It helps to be warned ahead of time. So, thank you.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

It seems as though the general opinion about this book, is that it is a little 'wordy' making the pace of the action a bit too slow for comfort.

The only thing separating a 2 star rating from a 4 star, is whether or not the reader enjoys discovering a little more about this particular region of the world!

Probably not a book I shall be rushing out to acquire in that case, as even though I do enjoy descriptive writing, I have so many other more intense sounding storylines, right here in my TBR mountain.

Thanks for an honest review,

Yvonne

Anilkumar Kurup said...

Have you restricted to critiquing books?

Tracy Terry said...

Thanks for all your comments. Not as dark as other 'Nordic fiction' I have read it really was the relentless description that I found tiring.

A while since I have posted anything other than book reviews but no my blog has not become an exclusive book blog. I actually have a Media Monday planned for next week.

Claudine G. said...

I must confess: good book covers really do captivate me to read on. I like crime-investigating stories. I like daunting and poignant. There was a time when long descriptions of a single action sat very well with me (I don't know if I can still stomach that now ... it depends on the description and how much I like the characters) ... so I might give this one a go. :)

Elizabeth said...

I like the cover. :)

Too bad it is too wordy. That does detract from the story.

Thanks for sharing. Nice blog. Love your setup and design.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
My Blog

Bo said...

I have never been a fan of the crime genre or thriller genre. I have seen some movies, but even on film, I just have no taste for it.

I don't think I would have any luck with this. The genre aside, add on top of that a healthy dose of word muck and I am sure to stay away.

It is always interesting though seeing what you are reading and your opinions on those books. Thanks!