Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Book Review: Kin (Helga Finnsdottir #1) by Snorri Kristjansson

Title: Kin (Helga Finnsdottir #1)
Author: Snorri Kristjansson
Publisher: Jo Fletcher
Publication Date: 8 March 2018
Pages: 320
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Source: ARC via NetGalley

He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son.

And they're coming with darkness in their hearts.

The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor's heirs make their moves on the old man's treasure - until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain.

No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person - who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga's eyes. But if she's going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she's got to solve the mystery - fast . . . (Goodreads Synopsis)

I really enjoyed the premise of Kin, and I liked the way Kristjansson wove the story of this divided family. All the drama was excellent; however, I struggled to connect to the mystery side of things. I felt no tension or expectation over the murders, and had little interest in Helga's investigation, aside from how it related to unravelling the relationships between the family members. That said, the prose was easy, pleasant reading, and the characters were well drawn, so I am still giving the book four stars. If you enjoy historical fiction with a murder mystery twist, this is a book you'll want to check out.

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