REVIEW: The Fire Pit by Chris Ould (Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels) #3)

Series: Jan Reyna (Faroes Novels)

Book Number: 3

Read this book for: Nordic noir, British mystery, international mysteries, now it’s personal, dark pasts, detective backstories, multiple investigations

Quick Review: A perfect end to a brilliant trilogy, and another Nordic noir must-read.


In the wake of a dying man’s apparent suicide, the skeleton of a young woman is discovered on a windswept hillside. Detective Hjalti Hentze suspects that it is the body of a Norwegian woman reported missing forty years earlier, while a commune occupied the land, and whose death may be linked to the abduction and rape of a local Faroese girl.

Meanwhile British DI Jan Reyna is pursuing his investigation into his mother’s suicide. But as he learns more about her final days, links between the two cases start to appear: a conspiracy of murder and abuse spanning four decades. And as Hentze puts the same pieces together, he realizes that Reyna is willing to go further than ever before to learn the truth…

The end to the Faroes Novels trilogy, THE FIRE PIT ties off the story of detective Jan Reyna’s history while maintaining the Nordic noir feel that has made this series such a wonderful read so far.

This is the third book in the Faroes Novels trilogy, and deals heavily with Jan Reyna’s past. I would highly recommend picking up the first two novels (THE BLOOD STRAND and THE KILLING BAY) before reading this one, as you will not fully appreciate Hjalti Hentze’s character, the relationship between he and Reyna, or even Reyna’s full story without it. However, they are completely worth reading — and if you will enjoy THE FIRE PIT, you will enjoy the others.

This is because Ould has a wonderfully consistent style across all three novels. While this latest one is a little different, travelling to different locations and taking a more personal connection through Reyna’s own investigation into his family, each novel is so stylistically similar to the other two that they can be read as one long novel if you choose.

They read as one despite the variation in cases and the discrete story contained in each one, and THE FIRE PIT is no disappointment in terms of plot. The novel largely focuses on Reyna’s investigation into his mother’s suicide, but Hentze has his own suspicious death to look into as well. They both are wonderful examples of dogged, straightforward and not necessarily glamourous police work, with intelligent deductions based on reasoning, rather than leaps of genius.

Also, I have to once again commend Ould for the perfect atmosphere that he sets in this novel (and the others). There is something clean and refreshing about the combination of the unembellished prose and the clever, twisting plots that are the hallmarks of this series. This particular combination of British mystery and Nordic noir is unique and very satisfying.

Absolutely pick up THE FIRE PIT (and the rest of this series) if you are looking for a story and style that will captivate you.

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