Holy smokes, that was brilliant! My first thriller by the author and one that kept me up all night. I just wasn´t able to put it aside – it was THAT haunting. If you are looking for a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, shows you the beauty of nature, and the danger a long-time kept a secret can bring, then this is definitely your book. And in combination with a battled main figure who tries to cope with his own shattered past, this is the stuff you are looking for when it comes to well-written thrillers.  

by Mads Peder Nordbo
Grønland - Greenland #1
Translation Marieke Heimburger, Kerstin Schöps
Original Title Pigen Uden Hud
English Title The Girl Without Skin**
Publisher Fischer TB on October 24, 2018
Genre Thriller
Pages 408
Format Paperback
Source Publisher

“Matthew craned his neck out of the helicopter. They were near the edge of the glacier. Below them the sea full of pack ice. In front of them, the endless white as far as the eye could reach. Dazzling white. Millions of white crystals. Except for one place. One spot. Exactly where yesterday the mummy had lain and Aqqalu had kept watch. There the ice was glossy red.” (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Matthew Cave once was a happy man. He had a wife, was expecting a baby and life seemed to be perfect. Until that awful accident, that destroyed everything. Now a reporter, who writes stories about things that won´t be noticed on the other side of the world. Local news that gives him an income, but nothing more. He is far from being the reporter he once wanted to become. But then he is sent to a story that changes everything. His life and that of so many others.

There is no unnecessary word in this book. No gesture that doesn´t need to be there. Mads Peder Nordbo´s writing is clear, to the point, and very structured. The story jumps back and forth between the past and present. The past is shown through a notebook Matthew is reading while working on a story about a mummy that was found in the ice. Soon the fund of the mummy turns into a murder case that not only turns Matthew´s life but also that of a young woman he unintentionally gets to know. She is rough, doesn´t like men in general, and wants nothing to do with his story or the case. And yet she is right in the middle of the police´s attention. How everything is bound together, how a long-kept secret is brought back to life and what some suffering little girls got to do with it all, shows Mads Peder Nordbo in a captivating, almost demure way that makes you bite your nails and find out more. Psychological finesse at its finest, I´d say.

Matthew is a tortured man. Hit by destiny very hard, he´s in a state of deep grieve and almost unable to cope with it. And yet he still wants to live, do his job and to find the one story that will bring him what he always wanted: Being a reporter who hits the world with one meaningful story. And he will get that story, but in a way, he never imagined it. Fighting his nightmares, working in a place his ability to use words and the truth isn´t very welcome and as if that wouldn´t be enough, the past of others starts to threaten his own life. 

I was very intrigued by the way how Matthew deals with everything that comes across his path. Yes, he still mourns the loss of his family, and yes sleep is kind of unknown to him since that terrible day. But other than that? He fights. For himself and for others. His edges, his way of seeing things, and how he combines what happens are great to watch.  

I read this thriller overnight. Or better said: I inhaled it. This is what I call a page-turner. The author writes about the incredible beauty ice and glaciers have, and how dangerous they are on the other hand. That life in Greenland is pure but with hidden evil. And right in the middle a man who tries to see it all and change something. If you are a fan of the Scandinavian writing (I am from now on) and love thriller who has it all; action, blood, the right amount of secrets, and growing tension – then this is your book. Read!

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer TB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

**This book will be published in the English language The Girl Without Skin by Text Publishing on June 11, 2019 

Mads Peder Nordbo
Mads Peder Nordbo ©Ivan Boll

Mads Peder Nordbo is Danish but has lived in Greenland for several years. Born in 1970, he holds degrees in Literature, Communications and Philosophy from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Stockholm. Mads has lived in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Greenland. He works in communications at the Town Hall of Nuuk, where he amongst other things, writes for the mayor of the municipality, Kommunequarfik Semersooq, which stretches across the Greenland ice sheet. The Girl Without Skin is his crime debut.



  1. Wonderful review Vi. I have a review copy sitting here waiting to be read. I’m really looking forward to reading it now.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by.


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