In The Blood Strand: A Faroes Novel, British police detective Jan Reyna, returns to his native home on one of the Faroes islands after police find his estranged father unconscious with a shut gun and someone else’s blood staining his clothes.
The novel presents in two narratives one from Jan point of view and his search for answers about his painful past and the other through local police man Hjalti Henzte investigation into whether Jan’s father is a victim or a possible murderer. It is not long before there is an answer to the question: was there a murder nor not? A body washes ashore and tests reveal the victim’s blood matches the blood found on Jan’s father’s clothes. An intriguing mystery so far!
Except as very good a set up as there is to the story, it does not sustain itself. I became disappointed the closer I got to the end of the book. Jan’s past and the current murder investigation never link to each. There are no big reveals about Jan’s mother nor his father and the events that split them apart. Further the novel never answers why Jan decides to help his half siblings clear their father’s name; and give up what he most desires answers about himself and his mother. Sure his father may or may not recover but there are plenty of people including family he has not spoken to yet. However, he seemingly decides to give up his own search and help in the current investigation.
I wanted to know more about how Jan ticks, a softer side anything. Only Ould keeps things secret about his character except revealing he has temper that put on suspension from the force. It was a let down and disappointment for me. However, the opposite was the case about local police officer Hjalti Henzte. He made me care about the Faroes islands, its culture, customs, and most of all I liked his dogged determination to get to the truth behind the murder.
Such as shame The Blood Strand: A Faroes Novel’s description gave me false hope it would be quite a thriller. Instead Jan turns out not to meet my expectations and the big reveal at the end isn’t to be.