Tuesday, 11 December 2007


AUTHOR: Peter Hoeg


DATE READ: December 2007

NOTES: This is a complex crime novel. At its heart is Smilla, a feisty independent woman. Her Inuit ancestry makes her very much an outsider in Denmark – the iciness of the winter is reflected in her perceived coldness of the Danes around her. When her seven year old Greenlander neighbour, Isaiah dies she is convinced it is not an accident and sets out to find the truth.

There are some great characters in the book – all well drawn: Jakkelson, Lukas, Isaiah. The dialogue is sparky and often funny. The descriptions of ice and snow are brilliant, as are the flashbacks to life with her mother in Greenland. The pages are scattered with Inuit words which gave an added layer of authenticity and there are some wonderful descriptions of ice and snow (and Smilla’s affinity to them both)

The earlier parts of the book are brilliant and made compelling reading. Unfortunately as the plot becomes more and more convoluted it developed into a sort of sci-fi thriller and the ending is a bit of an anti-climax.

A book to be read in winter curled up in a warm place drinking hot chocolate!

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