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Crime in the Cyclades

November 3, 2017



I am in Ysternia, on the island of Tinos, reading Jørn Lier Horst’s Closed for Winter. 

As happens often in Nordic noir, rain pours in vertical curtains from the sky right before the crime is committed; and right afterwards. Rain turns the path to the journalist’s cottage into mud, rain fogs up the windows in inspector Wisting’s office, rain washes away all traces of the murder – or exposes them, if it’s just a drizzle – rain obstructs, rain facilitates, rain soaks everything, helps solve the riddle, or thwarts police efforts. 


And I’m thinking that, if one day there’s a wave of Cycladic crime novels, we will be reading things like: The wind blew up the chief’s hair, making him appear less serious than he intended. Or, a gust of wind blew away the paper containing the information, in front of everyone’s astonished eyes. Or yet again, the raging wind hurled the shutters against the window pain, threating to break it, together with the officers’ morale. Maybe the howling wind blew her words away, forcing the inspector to repeat himself. Someone else would look at the given dates and consult the weather report: the witness was lying, no ships left the port that morning due to high winds. A character would fall even more silent as the strong, sand-carrying wind hit her face. Or, even better, the frenzied wind made them continue the interrogation inside the patrol car, despite the rancid smell: the tourist they’d taken in the night before had vomited all over the back seat.


Ah. Tinos is an inspiration in itself.


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