Where Memories Lie is book 12 in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series, which I have been reading in order for a while now. This is a much more Gemma-centric book, Gemma is called to her friend Erika’s house to resolve a WW II related case. Erika is Jewish and escaped Germany with her husband. Her father, a famous jeweler, was left behind and perished in the camps. Gemma’s investigation into a piece of jewelry that has surfaced from Erika’s past, sets off a chain of present day crimes connected to past ones. Gemma and Duncan get to work together on the interconnecting cases. As well as dealing with the mystery and investigating the handling of past crimes, Gemma deals with a personal crisis in her family. An on-point depiction of the push-pull that many working women face.
This was a good read in this series, which is best read in order as the characters grow and their relationship changes over the course of the series. The ending left me anxious to read the next one and see what happens.
The Devil’s Wedding Ring is from a new to me author, Vidar Sundstol. I saw this book mentioned on a discussion of cult themed stories in the Nordic Noir genre, books like Sun Storm, The Hanging Girl, etc. Max is the sleuth here, a man who in his youth was a police officer in Norway. He left abruptly upon deciding he was not cut out for the type of police work being done and spent the rest of his life, some 30 years, in the US working as a private investigator. He returns to Norway for the funeral of an old friend and finds himself questioning everything about his friend’s death and connections to old crimes, including the one that drove him off the force and out of Norway.
Max is a well drawn character, a man who has lived a good life but now is returning to face the regrets of his youth. Themes of religion, ritual, sacrifice, fertility, and regret wrapped in solid investigation. Nicely paced Nordic Noir read.