Season of the Witch

Las Vegas

The crime novel Tími nornarinnar translated to English by Anna Yates.

From Season of the Witch:

"Wilderness tour?"

Ásbjörn's blabbing is drowned out by the background noise. "What?" I shout into the phone. It's the brand-new goddamned cell phone he forced on me with this new assignment up north. I hate a gadget that means people can get hold of me anytime, anywhere; it's a disadvantage. It enables me to get hold of people anytime, anywhere; that's an advantage. So what is gained? Continuous contact with the outside world. And what is lost? Peace. Freedom from contact with the outer world.

"What?" Ásbjörn yells back.

"What did you say?"

"I said there was an accident on a wilderness..."

He falls silent.

"Accident?" I ask.


"An accident where?"

No answer. I've been cut off. I place the phone in my lap and pull over. I read somewhere that cell phones have made life much easier for criminals, but much harder for writers of crime fiction, because the thrill and risk of being out of touch is almost a thing of the past. But couldn‘t there be more thrill and risk in being in touch than out?

“What’s up?” asks Jóa, our photographer. She looks at me sideways from the passenger seat, chunky in her thick blue quilted parka. Although I say “chunky,” Jóa is to me a beautiful young woman, with her kind face and constant smile. The Afernoon News venture of opening a branch in Northern Iceland with me as the only reporter has been made just bearable by her presence. Exile with her, if only for the time being, is a considerably more pleasant thought than exile with just Ásbjörn.