Unusually for me, I am on two blog tours today. The second one I am taking part in is for Cold Breath by Quentin Bates and I am delighted to share my thoughts on his latest book. But first, the all-important blurb…
Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .
Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.
Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.
I was delighted to be approached to take part in the blog tour for Cold Breath by Quentin Bates. I was familiar with Bates due to his work translating for Orenda Books and I had been meaning to check out his own books. This gave me the perfect excuse.
Cold Breath is the seventh in the Gunnhildur Mystery Books but this was my first and it works really well as a standalone. I had no problems following the story, getting to know the characters and I didn’t feel as though as I was missing anything in backstory.
Police officer Gunnhildur is taken off normal police duty and appointed to protect a politician’s guest during his stay in Iceland. It soon becomes clear that the guest may not be all that he seems and conceals a shadowy side.
The pace from the outset is relentless and Cold Breath hurtles along, keeping the reader completely on their toes. Bates has ensured that every chapter is packed with either action or intrigue. Each chapter flips from one character storyline to another and while I would normally struggle to keep up, there is something about Bates’ execution of the book that makes it easy to follow. You are never too far away from any of the characters due to punchy paragraphs which make it easy and enjoyable to follow.
The characterisation is great and despite being unfamiliar with Gunnhildur, it didn’t take me long to get the feel of her and like her. Gunnhildur really goes through the mill in Cold Breath and I am eager to read the next book to ascertain how she moves on from it. I adored her and reporter Skúli.
Cold Breath is tightly plotted and combines crime, murder and political intrigue. I liked the way it explored how your job can have you questioning your morals and values, as Gunnhildur wonders if the man she is being paid to protect is worth protecting given as the truth about him and his actions are brought to life.
A great action-packed novel set against the fantastic backdrop of Iceland, I thoroughly enjoyed Cold Breath. Bates’ writing is superb and I am so glad I got to check out his work. A great addition to the book shelf of any crime fiction lover.
Published on 11 October 2018 by Constable, you can get your copy HERE.
My thanks to Quentin Bates and Constable for the advance copy and to Emily at Brand Hive for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.