Sara Winokur’s debut-thriller transports us to Iceland and leaves readers compelled to solve cold-cases. Perfect for true crime junkies and thriller fanatics alike, Winokur’s latest novel follows a forensic scientist’s investigation into her twin brother’s 20-year-old disappearance.
Brynja, a forensic geneticist, finds a strange poem on her desk that gives her hope that her twin brother, who had disappeared in North Iceland two decades ago, may still be alive. In true Sherlock Holmes style, Brynja decodes and deciphers clues from more incoming poems. Every poem sends you deeper into your own conflicting thoughts, as each one holds dire consequences for their recipients, whether it be the prime minister’s secretary or the local pastor. Ultimately, Brynja herself becomes the target, forcing her to navigate the convoluted maze of the poet’s mind and address her family’s buried secret.
The Iceland-based thriller is infused with suspense, so I will leave the central question to you, crime buff: Is the poet trying to prevent Brynja from finding her brother and deny her access to the DNA database? Or is the bard merely a copycat killer?
The eerie, otherworldly landscapes and remote farmsteads Winokur describes in her novel will make you want to jump in the pages and experience Iceland for yourself – and now you can! As of April 6th, Iceland welcomes vaccinated U.S. and U.K. tourists without any quarantine or COVID-19 test requirements. As long as you have been fully vaccinated by an injection approved by the European Medicines Agency, like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson, Iceland is yours to explore!
Not fully vaccinated? Don’t worry. As of May 1st, Iceland has started using a risk assessment color code at its borders to grant entry to even more travelers. Tourists from low-risk (or green and yellow) areas that present a negative PCR test upon arrival will not be required to quarantine.
Before you head off to explore Thingvellir National Park and the Blue Lagoon, make sure to have proof of either: a full COVID-19 vaccination or prior COVID-19 infection. For proof of prior infection, documented laboratory results are required. Everyone in your party, including children, must also preregister on this website before visiting Iceland.
Exploring all of Iceland’s natural wonders are breathtaking, but what COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions can you expect upon landing? Iceland has been very successful at containing COVID-19. Since implementing tighter restrictions in March 2021 due to the U.K. variant, the country has largely re-opened and is rapidly vaccinating its citizens. As of the start of May, more than 36,000 Icelanders have been fully vaccinated with over 100,000 receiving their first dose.
With that said, most things in Iceland, from guided tours to museums, are open and operating under restricted hours and at a limited capacity. Your Icelandic culinary experience will also be minimally impacted, as restaurants are open at reduced capacity so you can enjoy your skyr and Kjötsúpa with minimal interruptions. For those of you wishing to indulge in Svarti dauði, all restaurants serving liquor have a 9p.m. curfew and are capped at 30 guests, so make your reservations ahead of time!
Iceland’s natural wonders await! If you fall into one of the categories above, we suggest adding some volcanos and waterfalls to your Summer itinerary and bringing Double Blind: The Icelandic Manuscript Murders along as your perfect travel companion. Learn more about Double Blind and author Sara Winokur by visiting her website and her page on TheBookFest.com.