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Michael Ridpath

The Wanderer
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  © Michael Ridpath 2010
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Updated: 08/04/2022
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Edge of Nowhere   This is a long short story, or a novella, of 15,000 words (the equivalent of about 60 paperback pages). It is only available as an e-book.

Iceland, midwinter: the days are fleeting, the nights endless and detective Magnus Jonson has been sent to an isolated fishing village in the West Fjords to investigate the possible homicide of a road construction worker. Ringed by steep mountains, this bleak village is cut off from the rest of Iceland and from the modern world. The locals are adamant that Iceland's legendary huldufólk - hidden people - had a hand in the death. Magnus finds their superstition suspicious... As he digs deeper, Magnus discovers that the victim was not a popular man, leading him to suspect that other, more human, passions are at work...

I wrote this short story after a conversation with Axel Nikulásson and Eyrún Hafsteinsdóttir at the Icelandic Embassy in London. I asked them if they had any ideas how I could write a story about Iceland's elves, the hidden people that live in rocks throughout their country. After our meeting, Axel sent me a newspaper story about an landslide near the town of Bolungarvík in the West Fjords. The locals were convinced that it was the work of the local hidden people, upset at construction workers for dynamiting their homes to make a tunnel through a mountain to a village. Now there was an idea. And here is a story.