Mads Peder Nordbo – The Girl Without Skin

Mads Peder Nordbo – The Girl Without Skin

Journalist Matthew has left his Danish home after with wife and their unborn daughter died in an accident. In Greenland he tries to make a new start. When an old, in ice conserved body is found, he believes to have found the story of his life: a new iceman just like Ötzi might be the scoop of his career. But it soon turns out that the body isn’t several hundred but only forty years old. His first deception leads him to old Greenland murder cases that were never solved. Four men had been killed and sliced open. When he starts to investigate, he doesn’t know what kind of hornets’ nests he is stirring up with his questions.

At first, “The Girl Without Skin” attracted me since the description sounded like a typical Scandinavian thriller set in the Greenland ice. As it turns out, there is much more to it than just brutal murders that need to be unravelled. Apart from the suspense and the clever story about these long time unsolved cases, it gives insight in a hardly known culture and the way the small community works – which is even worse than any of the violent killings.

I liked how the story slowly unfolds, one thing leads to another and you end up somewhere completely other than expected. All steps are well motivated and the highly complex case is solved satisfactorily. There is just one aspect that was a pity a bit: the protagonists, the Danish journalist, and his Greenlandic female helper resembled by far too much Stieg Larsson’s characters. The fearless investigative reporter who is eagerly ready to risk his life for a story and the inscrutable tattooed woman who is said to be a murderer and who easily hacks into official and highly protected computers – we have read that before. However, the parallels did not diminish any of the story’s appeal and suspense.