Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Operation Napoleon

Operation NapoleonStand-alone novel

This book is included in The Icelanders Cometh crowdfunding campaign run by the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to raise money for UK libraries to spend on titles translated into English by Icelandic authors to mark World Book Night and UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.


1945: a lost German bomber crashes on the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland.

Inexplicably, in the midst of World War II, there are both German and American officers on board. One of the senior German officers sets off, a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, never to be seen again.

1999: the US Army is secretively trying to remove an aeroplane from the Vatnajökull glacier.

Two young Icelanders become involved but end up paying with their lives. Before they are captured, one of the two contacts his sister, Kristin.

Her quest to discover his fate takes her on a long and hazardous journey in search of the key to the riddle about Operation Napoleon.


‘Rather than using excessive language and unnecessary description, Indriðason chooses a minimal style, which drip-feeds the details and keeps the reader guessing … Operation Napoleon is an intriguing novel, bleak and harsh in its description of cold, military narratives.’ Sophie Gordon, Aesthetica

“There are hints of some of Indridason’s trademark motifs – emotionally distant parents, brotherhood, the harsh Icelandic wilderness – but it’s clear that he is using Operation Napoleon to address what seems to be a deeply controversial factor in Icelandic life: the US military presence at Keflavik.’ Maxine Clarke, Euro Crime

‘An international literary phenomenon – and it’s easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical.’ Harlan Coben