Smilla’s sense of snow – Peter Hoeg

The title intrigued me. The back cover synopsis described a regular thriller, i was intrigued since the book is based in Greenland and Copenhagen. I have read tons of thrillers, including those by Eric Ambler and P.D.James with their rich language and intriguing plots. This one is a bit boring, to be honest. The book goes into long paragraphs (pages, even) of mathematical details and scientific facts, some of which are extremely technical and ultimately, to figure out where the author was leading to, i had to skip over them.

The plot is based on a murder of a child, ruled accidental death by the police, which a neighbour (Smilla) does not agree with. Isaiah (child in question) had fallen off the roof of a tall building and as Smilla explained to whoever was willing to listen – Isaiah was scared of heights. Though always describing herself as emotionally detached and even cold, choosing single life over marriage and children, she is disturbed and takes it upon herself to discover the truth. As thriller goes, there is a villain (or rather a set of them) who try to intimidate her, threaten her and even kill her into abandoning her research. The book takes us into the deepest parts of Greenland in quest for a large piece of meteorite and certain living organisms (worms) which could make some people very rich and powerful.

Being single myself, i am not sure i totally agreed with authors portrayal of Smilla’s single life, but i will give him the benefit of doubt since he did make the character complex due to childhood trauma of losing mother and brother and a father who is largely absent.

The book goes on to elucidate the life in Greenland which i found very educational and strengthened my resolve to visit at some point in future.

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