Friday, 29 November 2019

Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo

Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo
First published in Danish as Kold Angst by Politikens Forlag in 2018. English language translation by Charlotte Barslund published by Text Publishing in October 2019.

One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Danish Journalist Matthew Cave’s half-sister Arnaq disappears, leaving behind only a trail of blood, he realises they are both pawns in a game of life and death.

As a young US soldier stationed in Greenland, their father took part in a secret experiment with deadly consequences. Accused of murder, he was forced into hiding.

Desperate to discover the link between these two disappearances, Matthew is joined by Tupaarnaq, a young Inuit woman, who returns to Nuuk to help her only friend—and to settle a few scores of her own.

But, as things begin to unravel, Matthew begins to wonder: Is the father he has been searching for his entire life actually a cold-blooded murderer? And is Tupaarnaq really who he thinks she is?

Cold Fear is the second of two new sequels I was looking forward to this month. You might already know how underwhelmed I was with Daughter Of The Tigris which is Muhsin Al-Ramli's follow up to The President's Gardens. Well, unfortunately I found Cold Fear to be even more disappointing! I'd rated its predecessor, The Girl Without Skin, as a 4-star thriller, but it seemed to me that all the aspects I'd appreciated in that novel were glaringly absent from this one. I did just about manage to read through to the end, all the time hoping for a glimpse of Nordbo's previous style.

Cold Fear is all about its violent action scenes, most of which are graphically vicious. Male characters rush about being generally nasty to each other, but without sufficient depth to the character portrayals or much of a coherent narrative I struggled to understand their motivations or reasoning. Women only exist to be abused and even Tupaarnaq - a strong enigmatic female role in the first novel - is now reduced to an object for Matthew to continually leer at.

I would still recommend reading The Girl Without Skin, but as a standalone novel without continuing on to Cold Fear.

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