“Orkney Twilight” follows Sam, the daughter of an undercover cop, as she tries to unravels her father’s secrets. After her birthday and her father’s customary announcement of his impending doom, Sam and her journalist friend go to Orkney Island with her father to keep an eye on him. Slowly, she starts to uncover the truth about her father’s past, which puts her own life in danger.

The books starts off slowly, and really not a whole lot happens until a bit over halfway through. Even so, once the story moves to Orkney Island I didn’t mind the slow pace. The rich, detailed descriptions of the wind-swept island, and the fragments of ancient history and Norse mythology kept me more involved than the slowly moving mystery.

For the most part, I found it hard to take the characters and mystery seriously. Sam is incredibly paranoid, seeing shadows and spies everywhere she turns. The reader isn’t given any reason to believe in her delusions until much later in the book. For this reason, the first portion of the book wasn’t terribly suspenseful or thrilling, even though the back of the book informs me this is a ‘thriller’. The end picks up though as everything comes together and it turns out Sam isn’t just paranoid.

I think this book can be better enjoyed as an examination of Sam’s fraught relationship with her father than a ‘thriller’. The location, the history of the island, and Sam’s familial relationships are all more engaging than the mystery.

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