THE BLOOD STRAND by Chris Ould
This book is set in the Faroe Islands situated in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland, northwest of Scotland.
DI Jan Reyna is a British detective who returns to his birthplace Torshavn when his estranged father Signar Ravensfjall is found unconscious in a blood stained car with a loaded shotgun and a boot full of money on an isolated beach.
Jan Reyna left the Faroes with his mother when he was three years old and has seen his father only once in forty years. After his mother’s suicide, he was raised by an uncle and aunt in England. Consequently, the islands and their way of life are foreign to him making his investigations into the circumstances surrounding his father’s injuries problematic. Soon the body of a local man, Tummas Gramm washes up on a beach not far from Tjornuvik where Signar was found.
Reyna connects with the local police led by Hjalti Hentze. They begin to work together to unravel the crime and it appears that Reyna’s wealthy and successful father may be at the centre of a blackmail plot linked to a decades old incident. As this is a police procedural, however, there are many twists and turns until all is revealed as something more current but equally rotten to do with another family member.
The rocky, brooding, windswept beauty of the Faroe Islands echoes Jan Reyna’s sense of alienation as he attempts to understand his family history. He still has much to find out and fortunately this book published in 2016 is the first of a planned trilogy. The sequel, The Killing Bay was published in 2017 with a further book to follow in 2018.
Reviewed by Helen Bentley