Mswas’ CBR-IV Review #1 – Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason01/14/2012
“A blizzard raged on the glacier.
He could see nothing ahead, could barely make out the compass in his hand. He could not turn back even if he wanted to.”
So begins Operation Napoleon by Arnaldur Indridason. I picked this one up off the new book shelf at the library, hoping for something I could immerse myself in and speed through at a breakneck pace, turning pages like my life depended on it. Success!
This international thriller begins in 1945 Iceland, where a German bomber soars through the air, all too close to a farm at the foot of a glacier. The two brothers stand outside, listening for the inevitable crash. But they head nothing. The plane does crash, but goes unheard and undiscovered, and the glacier eventually seals the plane and the fate of those inside.
Coming to present day, we meet Elias, a young man who inadvertently stumbles upon the wreck and the U.S. Army trying to remove it. He manages to contact his sister, Kristin, before vanishing, and the tale picks up with Kristin’s tale, a rollercoaster of a story.
The secret of the plane and its cargo is so important and embedded in Army procedure and history that no holds are barred in tracking and dealing with any unauthorized knowledge of the crash site. Agents are on to Kristin practically before the phone call with Elias ends, and she sets off on the run.
Enlisting the help of friends, strangers and aquaintances, Kristin decides to find her brother or his fate. I won’t tell you much more than that, because I wouldn’t want to reveal any of Indridason’s masterfully spun tale of espionage and intrigue in a frozen land. Moving back and forth betwen 1945, later recovery attempts, and modern time, and also between the crash survivors, the men on their missions, and Kristin racing to elude pursuers, the story moves along at a breakneck pace. We genuinely root for Kristin as she seeks answers and the truth.
5 stars for this one – I highly recommend it.