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Frozen Out

Gunnhildur Mystery, Book 1
Narrated by: Mel Hudson
Series: Gunnhildur Mystery, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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Summary

The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that propels the village of Hvalvik's police sergeant Gunnhildur into deep waters. Although under pressure to deal with the matter quickly, she is suspicious that the man's death was no accident and once she has identified the body, sets about investigating his final hours. The case takes Gunnhildur away from her village and into a cosmopolitan world of shady deals, government corruption and violence. She finds herself alone and less than welcome in this hostile environment as she tries to find out who it was that made sure the young man drowned on a dark night one hundred kilometres from where he should have been - and why.

Although born in the UK in 1962, through a series of coincidences Quentin Bates found himself working in Iceland in his gap year. The gap year then became 10 years, during which time he managed to get himself married, produce a family, and generally go native in Iceland. The family then moved back to the UK in 1990 where Quentin became a full-time journalist on a commercial fishing magazine. Frozen Assets was born through the author's own inside knowledge of Iceland and its society, along with exploring the world of crime. He and his (Icelandic) wife frequently return to Iceland, where they have many friends, including several in the Reykjavik police.

©2011 Quentin Bates (P)2013 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous female detective, who is normal!

I really enjoyed this Icelandic detective story, not your typical Nordic noir, but more upbeat and with hope at the end. Gunhilda is a great role model for any modern girl. Griping story and realistic characters.
Read well and easy to remember Icelandic names which is sometimes difficult in these Scandinavian books.
I have read books 2 & 3 and can't wait for the next one to come out, I m hooked.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Thoroughly Entertaining

Definitely something I will be listening to again, well narrated as long as you can handle those long Icelandic names.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

I really enjoyed this book, I haven't read anything by Quentin Bates so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed his characters, (and hated some - as was appropriate), they seemed to act in an intelligent way.

I found a little problem with the names - but I was able to rerun a couple of times to work out who was in the action!! This is down to MY not being used to Icelandic names - and it didn't spoil the story.

A well crafted tale, very satisfying.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Icelandic murder, nice heroine

Enjoyed this one on the car stereo while driving around Iceland on holiday! Great reading. Good pace story with some nice and some baddy characters. Believable female protagonist. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Good easy listening but a bit long

Could hv bn a bit shorter and still conveyed the story. Well read and interesting but not a page turner for me

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Icelandic Crime

I really liked this book and hence bought book 2&3 of this series and hope there will be more to come. I agree that the Icelandic names are hard to digest. On the other side I really liked the female detective, a single mother who is not a beauty queen and tries hard to bring shift work and family life together.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Dissappointing end

Enjoyed the developing storyline and characters, but as I waited for an exciting denouement, the story suddenly hit the wall. Would be interested in seeing how the Gunnhilder detective develops, but am concerned that the same would happen agaiin, so not inclined to read/listen further.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

Just as I expected from this author - nail-biting to the last page. Thoroughly good read.

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With difficulty!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Make the names a little more English. I had to keep rewinding to remember who was who, bit frustrating.

Was Frozen Out worth the listening time?

Yes and no. I loved the narration, especially the different English accents. The story wants you to stay with it and get to the end. I found myself thinking of other things while listening, not a good sign. The story was slow and there is a definite lack of excitement.

Any additional comments?

I am going to give book 2 a chance as I have already bought it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent writing

This has all the elements of a good crime novel... Characterisation, interest both criminal and personal and a great storyline.

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  • Annie Smart
  • 01-12-17

Great start to a good series

This is my second review of this book. I decided to re listen thru the whole series. Am happy to confirm my original impression. Good characters, good amount of procedure, and a wonderful feeling of what Icelandic life in the run up to their financial collapse might have felt like.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Knitosophy
  • 20-10-16

Narration completely mismatched to genre and story

What disappointed you about Frozen Out?

The narration is better suited to a children's book than an adult crime novel. Jolly jolly jolly. No hint of menace, no attempt to create Scandinavian-ness in English. All blue collar workers have lower class regional British accents. All white collar workers have the upper class accent of the narrator. Do the narrator and producer think that all crime novels are English country house novels? Really really disappointed. And unfortunately as the other novels by this author are narrated by the same person, I won't be buying any of those either. Can't really take this seriously,

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Hard to say because the narration was so disctracting. But by an large, it seemed like a good crime novel. As mentioned, the jolly narration prevented any build of tension or sense of menace.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mel Hudson?

Mel Hudson may well be perfect, but could someone clue her in on what fans of Scandinavian noir like about the genre.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Frozen Out?

None.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr. William J. Kass
  • 22-03-16

More, please

Would you consider the audio edition of Frozen Out to be better than the print version?

I don't know because I listen rather than read. Listening to this book was a delight.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It kept me engaged and it compelled me to listen to all the other Quintin Bates books Audible has on offer.

What does Mel Hudson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings life to the characters and distinction between and among them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

none

Any additional comments?

none

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 22-02-16

narrator distracting, had to stop listening

the narrator was distracting in her pace of reading, lilting narration and her attempts to produce character's names with an Icelandic accent. I had to stop listening as a result. May read on own as story itself may be good.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dale
  • 15-09-13

Icelanders don't have British Accents

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was a good story. The characters are believable as are their actions.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Frozen Out?

Complete confusion over the number of characters with names starting with 'S'; Snorri, Skuli, Steini...

What about Mel Hudson’s performance did you like?

Mel Hudson can produce a wide variety of character voices.

Any additional comments?

Iceland is a country of born storytellers and a very large majority of Iceland's residents speak English. Why then, did the narrator have/use a British accent? That was very disconcerting and disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gail N.
  • 10-11-17

A great main character but a flawed ending

Gunnhildur is a great Icelandic character. Having visited Iceland for a couple of months shortly after the financial collapse, I can say that the author has done a good job of depicting the Icelandic laid back national character, their willingness to accept others as they are, and their somewhat cynical view of life. However, the reader spoke with a British accent which was rather jarring, especially because she pronounced all the character names with a pronounced Icelandic accent. Of course, the names will take some getting used to which also complicates the listen. There are definitely some high points and some great scenes. But the ending was so unsatisfying that I cannot recommend the book. Perhaps the story is resolved in the next installment in the series. However, I do not like the book enough to pursue it through another listen.

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  • Alex
  • 08-06-17

Annoying Intonation by Narrator + Icelandic Names

It was the Icelandic names that finally caused me to return this book. When pronounced in a British accent they just sound discordant.

I know from other books that the narrator is certainly talented, unfortunately in this earlier work she is yet to discover her full talent. The intonation suffered from an annoyingly lighthearted, happy sound which to my mind was at odds with the content.