Forty Days Without Shadow

Truc, Olivier

  17 Reviews

With a UN conference on indigenous peoples about to start on their doorstep, detectives Klemet Nango and Nina Nansen of the Reindeer patrol need to urgently locate a stolen Sami artefact. Solving the crime becomes imperative when a local reindeer herder is found brutally murdered and it's possible the cases are related.

Set in the snowy expanses of Lapland, this uniquely Arctic Circle whodunit also presents a fascinating snapshot of a minority group struggling to retain their traditional way of life in the face of 21st century challenges.



TURA 002
All really enjoyed this one. A slow start, then we couldn't put it down until the end. A really interesting look at a very different culture. Definitely parallels in techniques of colonisation around the world.
AUCK 234
A little slow to begin with. Good insight into how they live up there. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
The book was very educational in many ways unfamiliar to us, and we enjoyed learning about the Sami way of life. A very good book, although a bit too long.
NAP 026
We rated this book a 3. There was a range of views. The background of the Sami culture and Scandinavian influence/impact of colonisation was interesting. One of our members has a brother who is a mining engineer, so she could talk about these aspects, and what has happened over the years in similar type situations. The number of characters was challenging, especially at the beginning - difficult to keep track of who was who, and what was happening. Some members enjoyed the thriller, others found it a bit too convenient - the way everything fell into place.
All but two managed to finish it and all and found it quite a page turner. Many topics were up for discussion, the country, the culture, the treatment of indigenous people, threats to the environment, community. The characters were well drawn, even the minor ones and we thought the translation was well done as we found it very easy to read. An excellent murder mystery set in a country we are not familiar with and we learnt a lot.
NELS 064
Only 2 members managed to read the book in its entirety. It became repetitive and boring to most, and we were all very disappointed with the ending. Not a favourite.
CHCH 423
This book split the team. Not in a good way. The person who had been to the general vicinity of the setting of the book really liked it. No one else did - although one person appreciated the book more following our discussion.
TAUR 051
Most of us really enjoyed the book but we all found it slow or hard to get into; we agreed however that all the historical/cultural elements were important to set the scene. It took us 200 pages+ to become riveted. Well worth persevering though.
WELL 007
Fascinating to learn about the Sami.
CHCH 088
We all enjoyed the book - a good solid read.. It was so interesting to read about reindeer herders, their culture and the whole area in general. So many themes running through the story - not just a crime novel.
CHCH 001
We had a great discussion. Most people scored the book 7 or 8. The writing was good and the story kept the tension required for a thriller. Some thought there was too much material in the book (enough for 2-3 books). We enjoyed learning about the life and culture of the Sami, and how this worked with the dominant culture. We were not surprised to learn that Olivier Truc has written 2 sequels (not yet translated) as he left open several possibilities.
DIAM 001
A complex book with many layers. Two members did not like it - gave it a brief skim read. Other members appreciated reading about an area of the world we knew nothing about, the culture, the lives of the indigenous people and the present problems of a country being taken over by an unknown world. Raw, cruel and complex but beautiful writing of the tundra. A great discussion.
NELS 015
Most people enjoyed the book though some felt it was quite clumsy in the plotting and characterisation. Also some thought it didn't read fluently, though this could be due to it being a translation. An interesting look into a culture and land we knew very little about, a fascinating insight into Sami culture with similar issues and problems to many other indigenous peoples.
A fascinating insight into Sami culture and history of Sapmi. A complex and rewarding read.
CHCH 176
The group loved the book. The discussion was lively and everyone felt they had learnt a lot about the area and culture.
AUCK 006
We all read the book, but for some reason none of us felt that the story really gripped us. We all struggled with it, taking far longer than normal to complete it. A murder mystery usually has us turning pages rapidly as we rush to discover 'Who-dun-it'. It wasn't as if we struggled with the translation either, this was very good. The characters were clearly portrayed and any goriness in the story was central to the tale and not over written. The change however came with the discussion. We have not had such a spirited discussion in a long time, in fact it took up most of the meeting.
ASHB 016
We all really liked this book. Quite different to what we usually read, some found it hard to figure out the different people initially but once started it was a good story. The first chapter was impressive and caught your attention straight away. Very cold setting - interesting to be reading about snow and ice in a 40 degree plus summer! There was quite a lot in it, especially once we started to discuss it. Felt sorry for the indigenous people and we also commented on the fact that this is still happening and so is greed.