Crime fiction,  Nordic Noir

The Dinosaur Feather by S.J. Gazan

I came across The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel- Jo Gazan last July and I felt immediately attracted to the plot. I wanted to like this book, but I was wrong… I loved it!


Summary from Book Depository:

Biology graduate Anna Bella Nor is just two weeks away from defending her thesis on the origin of birds when her supervisor Lars Helland is found dead in his office, his severed tongue lying on his bloodied shirtfront, a copy of her thesis lying in his lap. Police Superintendent Soren Marhauge is assigned to unravel what appears to be a multitude of intrigues in the Biology Department of Copenhagen University.

I’m going to summ up my review in the following sentence: The Dinosaur Feather is an amazing novel. From the beginning, the plot is full of mysteries and it catches your attention to never realease it til you turn the last page. There are three different characters the narrator focuses in: Anna, Marhauge and a Canadian professor. Through their lives, the reader gets to know them individually and it helps to understand their behaviour when they are put together, related to Helland’s death.

Because I am a college student, the fact that a this crime takes place in a professor’s office was very interesting, but also the fact that Anna’s supervisor and mentor is killed and how it affects her as a student, helped me to connect with the main character, Anna. However, because she is the main character I think she is a little bit tortured, she suffers more than she should and she is too affected in certain chapters. But, as a whole, she is a great character.

Now, the important question: the author studied Biology and palaeontology plays a key role in the plot, can Humanities studients understand the plot and follow the reasonings? As a Humanities’ students, yes! Sissel Jo Gazan manages to make science easy to understand for any one! Although the book is rich in scientific details, it is wonderfully explained so that anyone can understand Anna’s thesis. For all those out there who are science students, this is the book for you to enjoy the perfect mix between a good story and science.

I’m so happy I came across this book, that by the way, has received so many awards. In fact, the author is considered the new queen of black Scandinavian novels (although she is Danish) and has more works in mind focused in Anna Bella. So, maybe I will follow this character and her academic adventures to, ironically, escape from my everday life as a student.


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