Skiing Thriller Set in Norway’s Lyngen Alps

Imagine having to ski for your life for days and nights in a snowstorm with little rest or food.  The danger of crevasses, avalanches and frostbite outweighed by the risk that a couple of ruthless killers might catch up with you. Book reviews aren’t generally our thing at PlanetSKI but we’re making an exception for this one.

Where Blood Runs Cold is a chilling page-turner set in the far north of Norway, deep inside the Arctic Circle.

For almost the entire novel its two main characters, Erik Amdahl and his 13-year-old daughter Sofia, are on skis.

They set out from their cabin for a cross-country skiing and camping trip in the remote Lyngen Alps.

But when Sofia badly injures her hand on their first night, they abandon their camp to seek help at the home of a local Sami family.

While there they witness a murder.

They manage to escape but are soon pursued by the killers.

It’s then a fight for survival in one of the most unforgiving places imaginable.

Yes, the Lyngen Alps are beautiful, but not in a howling blizzard, at night and with a couple of determined murderers on your trail.

Lyngen Alps, Norway – photo © Joanne McClelland

Lyngen Alps, Norway – photo © Joanne McClelland

“They pushed on and after another hour he was sure that the wind was lessening.  But the result was thicker cloud, slung low above their heads, laden with snow and pressing down upon them and the world through which they struggled.  The storm had less anger in it now but more hate.  It was so cold that if they needed to rest, they dared not stop for long for fear of freezing where they stood. And with night coming, it was only going to get colder.” – Where Blood Runs Cold

The book is a tense thriller that brilliantly evokes the freezing landscape, the exhaustion and pain suffered when you can’t ski anymore – but you have to keep going – and the effects on the body and the mind.

The story behind the murder is gradually revealed and it isn’t quite what it at first seems.

The author of Where Blood Runs Cold, Giles Kristian, is half-Norwegian and got the idea for the novel when he went skiing and camping in the Norwegian mountains with his brother.

Although they were incredibly fit and had all the right gear, they realised they’d bitten off more than they could chew and abandoned the trip halfway through.

It’s Kristian’s first contemporary thriller but he’s a best-selling author of historical novels, including a Viking trilogy inspired by his own family history.

Giles Kristian, author of Where Blood Runs Cold – photo © Giles Kristian

As an aside – and it’s utterly irrelevant – we can’t resist pointing out that Kristian is not known just for his writing.

In the 1990s he was the lead singer of the pop group, Upside Down, and had four top 20 records.

He performed on Top of the Pops and supported The Spice Girls, Take That, Eric Clapton and U2.

To fund his writing he also worked as a model, appearing in TV commercials and ads as Walls Ice Cream’s Magnum Man.

Where Blood Runs Cold is published in the UK by Transworld on 24th February 2022

Where Blood Runs Cold front cover

“They skied all night. Now and then they saw by the suffused moonlight the landscape through which they moved. The great snow-shrouded firs standing like giants frozen long ago by some enchantment in a war between ancient races. The soft blue radiance of the mantle over which they moved.  Rocky overhangs fringed with massive icicles sharp as the canines of vampires, or else ice gathered on rock faces in vast sheets as if suspended in mid-cascade, like a converse lava low from some polar eruption.” – Where Blood Runs Cold

MAIN PHOTO of the Lyngen Alps © Alison Parsons