The Ice Cageby Olivier Nilsson-Julien Published 16 Jul 2012
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If you liked Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, Henning Mankell’s Wallander series or Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole, you might also like Magnus Sandberg, a Londoner returning to Scandinavia to bury his estranged father, only to discover that he has been murdered. Tracking down the killer, Magnus is caught up in a battle with a nationalist plot to bring down the country.
Magnus isn't Lisbeth Salander or Harry Hole, he is an ordinary guy, a reluctant action hero setting out to understand his father, but ending up in a deadly face-off with a mass murderer.
Magnus left Scandinavia as a child when his parents divorced and hasn’t been back since, so The Ice Cage is also about Magnus rediscovering his lost Nordic side - the man he could have been, the life he could have lived if he hadn’t moved to London as a child. Magnus has to come to terms with the past and pick up the threads of a parallel life with the help of local police officer Eva – the real action hero.
The Ice Cage is a gripping journey with a cinematic feel, great characters, edgy storytelling and sharp insights into Scandinavian life - thoughtful, entertaining and pacy at the same time. Unlike most Scandinavian thrillers, it's told from a British point of view, offering a dark, powerful and even humorous look at modern-day Nordic society.
"The Ice Cage" Reviews
Loved the way I was drawn into the story through Magnus. He isn’t a
superhero and I like it. He grows throughout the story but remains
complex and questioning, human. This was one of my first Kindle reads,
so had a bit of trouble understanding how the device works, but I’m
definitely reading this again once my partner is done with it (partner
is hooked). Will definitely get the sequel.
This is a thriller of a mystery. Really liked it.
Fabulous story, despite the writing being heavy-handed: too much telling and blow-by-blow action. As a reader, especially of a suspense or thriller, i want the author to put me in a position where my inferences can add depth to the story. In The Ice Cage, all the potential subtleties were spelled out, which left me with little to do, other than turn pages.
I'm pleased to learn that Nilsson-Julien has another book due out this year., As this was his first book, and he is actively soliciting feedback, I hope that his writing will mature with each subsequent novel. He has a delicious niche in the landscape and people of Aland, and a intriguing protagonist in Magnus
'Great action adventure, very atmospheric. Takes the time to build up
the story and soak up the setting (amazing sense of place, feel like
I've been on the Aland Islands). Not Stieg Larsson, but in a good way.
Tighter writing and subtler plotting with brilliant characters and
humour. Very visual - reads like a movie.'
Great read, very atmospheric. Sucks you into the landscape - really made me want to go to those islands in the Baltic Sea. Wouldn’t want the cold swims though. Although there’s a plot with gripping action sequences, the story takes the time to develop the characters. The only thing that disturbed me was the ‘villain’. Always find it
difficult to accept that people can be so twisted and mad. Of course these people exist (see what happened in Norway). All in all I thought the book gave a warm impression of the local community. In spite of the dark plot, cultural observations were made with a deadpan sense of humour.
This story begins with Magnus Sandberg returning, after twenty years in London, to the Åland archipelago between Sweden and Finland so he can attend to arrangements for his father's funeral. Magnus and his mother left Åland when Magnus was ten, so he really didn't know his father very well. But almost immediately upon his arrival, Magnus' suspicions are aroused, and he soon becomes embroiled in an elaborate plot to assassinate the Swedish king.
Although all that happens to Magnus during the time he's "home," is a mighty big stretch, the fact that Åland belongs to Finland but is more Swedish in culture, provides the reader with an interesting political back story. I quite enjoyed the book.