House of Evidence

House of Evidence

by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson

Detective Jóhann Pálsson, an expert in the emerging field of forensics, is called to the scene and soon discovers something more unsettling than the murder itself: the deceased's father, Jacob Kieler Senior, a railroad engineer, was shot to death in the same living room nearly thirty years earlier.

Pálsson soon uncovers diaries that portray Kieler Senior as an ambitious man dedicated to bringing the railroad to Iceland no matter the cost.

Sensing a deeper and darker mystery afoot, the detective and his colleagues piece together through the elder Kieler's diaries a family history rich with deceit...

  • Language: English
  • Category: Mystery
  • Rating: 3.64
  • Pages: 377
  • Publish Date: December 11th 2012 by AmazonCrossing
  • Isbn10: 1611090997
  • Isbn13: 9781611090994

Read the Book "House of Evidence" Online

Set in Iceland in 1973, the book begins with the discovery of Jacob Kieler, Junior, who has been found shot in his museum-like home. Jacob Senior spent his life trying to bring a railroad to Iceland and spent many years in Germany studying and planning.

Book Info: Genre: Murder Mystery/Police Procedural Reading Level: Adult Recommended for: people fascinated by trains, obsessions Trigger Warnings: murder; anti-gay sentiments; violence toward others, especially GLBTQ folk, women and hippies, as well as Nazi violence in general during past times My Thoughts: I mostly took this book because it is set in Iceland, a country in which I am very interested, and it features forensic science, in which I'm interested. The main thing I liked about this book was the sensitive treatment of GLBTQ folk of all sort. Detective Jóhann Pálsson, an expert in the emerging field of forensics, is called to the scene and soon discovers something more unsettling than the murder itself: the deceased's father, Jacob Kieler Senior, a railroad engineer, was shot to death in the same living room nearly thirty years earlier. Pálsson soon uncovers diaries that portray Kieler Senior as an ambitious man dedicated to bringing the railroad to Iceland no matter the cost.

Ingolffson's "House of Evidence" consists of 399 absolutely packed pages - he has a true gift for giving a very full picture of a scene and using many different kinds of sensory input to place the reader within the pages of the book. However, character development picked up greatly in the second half, so while the novel starts somewhat slowly, readers are greatly rewarded for their patience. Indeed, one of the most compelling characters in the book is the elder Jacob Kieler, who is revealed only through his diary entries, of which there are several at the end of each chapter. It is plodding, however, and due to the occasional flat character, I sometimes just needed a break from reading.

Had someone told me a few days ago that I would be engrossed in a book where one of the main plot threads is a story about attempts to build a railroad line in Iceland, a book where an engineer's diaries from the early 1900s account for almost a third of its volume, I would not have believed. The main thread of the plot follows the Reykjavik police's investigation of the murder. The investigation thread of the plot is well constructed and skillful characterizations of several police officers make them believable.

I love stories with diaries and this one is well managed, the reader often knows what to look out for in the brief diary entries following revelations in the present (well 1973 but present as far as the book is concerned.) Jacob trains to be an engineer and has a life goal to build a railway in Iceland. It is the mystery that carries this story along especially the bit that spans World War II with interesting political opinions from an Icelandic perspective.

What a relief to return to a thoroughly well-written and imaginative novel after some of the formulaic twaddle I've been reading lately.

What I really loved was the parallel investigations, each chapter ended with detective Palsson reading from the fathers journal. The story was interesting, and if you like a good whodunit with a great twist at the end, then House of Evidence could be a great book for you.

The diary from 1913 - 1945 serves as an interesting excerpt of Icelandic and European history through the eyes of a young Icelandic man and they make the book alone worth reading.

Since then he has published more crime novels.