Grant Nicol’s novella The Mistake will be released on January 13th by Number Thirteen Press. This must surely be a case of two negatives creating a positive because it’s a fast paced, decently researched, imaginative piece of writing.
Set in Reykjavik, Iceland, the story contains some comment on the uglier elements of modern society and gender roles. Truth, revenge, cruelty and matters of authority are the backbone of the tale. It also contains, in its 141 pages, some elements the seasoned Nordic Noir reader may be familiar with: cold weather, coffee and an unpleasant harbour scene.
The majority of the story unfolds over a short period of time and firmly places the reader in the urban landscape of Reykjavik. The back story of an event which took place 9 years previously provides us with a tortured soul. The character development was strong enough for an impression to be left on the reader longer than the duration of reading the story. As the story nears its climax the twisted, horrific psychological elements described reminded me of Canadian novelist Michael Slade’s style of writing, and the storyline in general would not have been out-of-place in a series like Arne Dahl.