Quentin Bates books in order
Quentin Bates is an author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels, as well as a non-fiction title.
Although the name Quentin Bates dates back to the year of the Cuban missile crisis, he was raised in suburban England but later left for a couple of years. Bates however has very strong ties with Iceland.
He has over the years worked as a factory hand, netmaker, trawlerman, truck driver, and teacher, albeit for a short stint.
Since finding his way into writing after a chain of coincidences, Bates has never left his keyboard.
He has written a number of crime novels, most notably the Gunnhildur Mysteries, and translated the books of several Icelandic writers into English, including Sólveig Pálsdóttir and Einar Karason.
Quentin Bates is agented by Peter Buckman at the Ampersand Agency.
Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller
- Frozen Assets (2010)
- Cold Comfort (2012)
- Winterlude: A Gunnhildur Mystery Novella (2013)
- Chilled to the Bone (2013)
- Cold Steal (2014)
- Summerchill: A Gunnhildur Mystery Novella (2015)
- Thin Ice (2016)
- Cold Breath (2018)
- Cold Malice (2020)
- Life on the Edge: At Sea with British Fishermen (2001)
Detailed book overview
An unidentified body is found floating in the harbor of a rural Icelandic fishing village. Was the stranger’s death an accident or something more sinister? It’s up to Officer Gunnhildur, a sardonic female cop, to find out. Her investigation uncovers a web of corruption connected to Iceland’s business and banking communities.
Meanwhile, a rookie crime journalist latches on to her, looking for a scoop, and an anonymous blogger is stirring up trouble. The complications increase, as do the stakes, when a second murder is committed.
NB: This book is also known as Frozen Out.
Following her promotion and working now from Reykjavik, Gunnhildur is given responsibility for two cases - the first in tracking down an escaped convict who's keen to settle old scores, and the other, the murder of a TV fitness presenter in her city centre apartment.
With the police short staffed and underfunded following the financial crash, Gunnhildur and her team set about delving into the backgrounds of both, where they uncover some unwelcome secrets and some influential friends of both who have no wish to be in the public eye.
Set in an Iceland that is coming to terms with the deepening recession, Gunnhildur has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have taken place as she investigates criminals at opposite ends of the social scale as some uncomfortable links appear between the two cases.
It's a bitter winter morning when Sergeant Gunnhildur is called to the scene of a violent killing in an abandoned industrial unit.
Gunna and her sidekick Helgi quickly find that the battered victim had no shortage of enemies.
The case takes Gunna around Reykjavík's darker side and Helgi to the bleak rural district he grew up in as they work out who was prepared to take a grudge as far as murder.
When a shipowner is found dead, tied to a bed in one of Reykjavik's smartest hotels, Sergeant Gunnhildur sees no evidence of foul play.
However, she still suspects things are not as cut and dried as they seem and, as she investigates the shipowner's untimely demise, she stumbles across a discreet bondage society whose members are being systematically exploited and blackmailed.
But how does all this connect to a local gangster recently returned to Iceland after many years abroad, and the unfortunate loss of a government laptop containing sensitive data about various members of the ruling party?
What begins as a straightforward case for Gunnhildur soon explodes into a dangerous investigation, uncovering secrets that ruthless men are ready to go to violent extremes to keep.
A successful housebreaker who leaves no traces and no clues as he strips Reykjavík homes of their valuables has been a thorn in the police's side for months.
But when one night the thief breaks into the wrong house, he finds himself caught in a trap as the stakes are raised far beyond anything he could have imagined.
Gunnhildur Gísladóttir of the Reykjavík police finds herself frustrated at every turn as she searches for a victim who has vanished from the scene of the crime, and wonders if it could be linked to the murders of two businessmen with dubious reputations that her bosses are warning her to keep clear of.
It's the tail end of a hot summer when half of Reykjavík is on holiday and the other half wishes it was. Things are quiet when a man is reported missing from his home in the suburbs.
As Gunna and Helgi investigate, it becomes clear that the missing man had secrets of his own that lead to a sinister set of friends, and to someone with little to lose who is a fugitive from both justice and the underworld.
It becomes a challenge for Gunna to tail both the victim and his would-be executioner, racing to catch up with at least one of them before they finally meet.
Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter . . .
When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik's premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day's shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages...
Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Detective Gunna and a 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 realizes they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.
Reykjavík detective Gunnhildur Gísladóttir tries not to believe in ghosts. But when Helgi, one of her team is certain he's seen a man who had been declared dead more than fifteen years ago, she reluctantly gives him some unofficial leeway to look into it.
Has the not-so-dead man returned from the grave to settle old scores, or has he just decided to take a last look around his old haunts?
Either way, there are people who have nursed grudges for years, hoping for a reckoning one day. Even the rumor of his being alive and kicking is enough to spark a storm of fury and revenge, with Gunnhildur and Helgi caught up in the middle of it.
Quote from the introduction by Quentin Bates, New Year's Eve 1999: "These trips all took place in 1998 and 1999, fitted in around a variety of other commitments, and most were organized on the spur of the moment. These were all trips on family-owned boats, rather than on company boats. This is not something that was planned, it just worked out that way. The book is not an attempt to put together a definitive picture of the British fishing industry, I don't have the time or enough pages to play with for a fishing industry. I don't have the time or enough pages to play with for a task of that size. This is intended to be a series of snapshots, an idea of how fishermen live, work and think at the close of the 20th century. Although I have toned down the bulk of the more vigouros expletives and fruitier language throughout the book, these pages represent fishermen as they are."