The third of the third (and the two previous):
This is the 4th novel in Sigurdardottir's thriller series featuring Thóra Gudmundsdóttir.Thóra is an Icelandic lawyer who gets involved in various frightening scenarios while defending unlikely clients. One of the best things about Thóra is that she feel average, compared to many protagonists of mystery series: she doesn't have the sociopathic tendencies of Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan, or the hapless, sloppy self-loathing of Elizabeth George's Barbara Havers.
When Thóra demonstrates bravery in the face of the unknown and often supernatural, it's very easy for the reader to identify with her, because she doesn't have some kind of virtual superpower that facilitates the resolution of the problem posed in the novel. Her creator explores the ways in which she has to balance her family and her career in a way that feels very different from the ways in which most American mystery series handle the competing desires of female protagonists. I suspect cultural context has a lot to do with the ease with which Thóra's desires are legitimized.
The best example of how Thóra's life is utterly different than I'd imagine an American fictional counterpart's to be is how the teen pregnancy of Thóra's son's girlfriend is handled. Thóra and her ex-husband accept and support the teens' choice to keep the baby. But it isn't because of religious belief or societal expectations. The teens make the decision themselves, and then each family switches off weeks housing the mother and child. There's no moral condemnation, no authorial punishment inserted into the situation. The pregnancy treated in a matter of fact manner that is the polar opposite of the angst ridden scenarios conjured up in semi-fictions like "Teen Mom."