And we are no less concerned for his partners Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, about whom we learn a great deal in the later books. When Erlendur disappears on an extended sabbatical in the wilderness of his childhood, they each take a central role in one book a piece. His investigations provide rich insight into Icelandic culture, old and new. We hear a lot about certain issues — the criminal justice system, nationalism, racism, immigration, corporate greed, the welfare state. One book even touches on genetic disease. The small gene pool is a concern in this small, isolated country.
These are thematic elements shared across the Nordic noir sub-genre. Read our interview with the author here. Not yet translated. The back-to-back deaths of a retired teacher in his home and the suicide of one his students immediately raise red flags for the local police force that the cases are somehow related. Erlendur and his team are introduced, and the book reveals his failed marriage and his troubled relationship with daughter, Eva Lind. She has drug problems.
Hopefully Vintage will translate it soon!
It is then discovered that the victim was a drug addict. But who killed the woman and why did they lay her naked corpse at the flower-strewn grave of one of the founding fathers of modern Iceland? They later learn the child in the picture died of a rare genetic disease and that her mother committed suicide.
Was it a revenge killing? The forensic evidence they gather eventually leads to a high tech lab, the eponymous jar city filled with specimens, and a tense showdown with the killer. You can watch the trailer below. Buy now on Amazon. In , Silence of the Grave became the second Erlendur novel to appear in English. As the detective struggles to save his drug addict daughter Eva Lind from herself, a body is found in a shallow grave in an old Reykjavik town that is being dug up to make way for suburbs. The body is found to be quite old, but the hills that once formed the area have many stories to tell — of love, domestic violence, and murder.
Indridason masterfully weaves past and present and more than a few surprises all the way to the end, as we discover the identity of the body, killer and witness. This one is a favourite with many Indridason fans. He is dressed as Santa Claus, and his trousers are down around his ankles as though he was dispatched in the middle of a sexual act, possibly with a prostitute.
Once the chuckles subside and Erlendur is brought in to investigate, we learn more about the victim. In his youth, he was a promising soprano with the voice of an angel whose fate turned on a dime and resulted in tragedy. This case is one of the most poignant stories found in Scandinavian crime fiction.
A skeleton is found in a lake which is slowly draining after tectonic movements beneath the island. A hole in the skull points to murder, and what is most interesting is that the body was weighted down by a Cold War-era spy device. When a young boy of Thai descent is found murdered, racism is suspected. A woman is found hanged in her own summer cottage. His disastrous attempt to reconcile with his ex-wife, the intrusions of his children, and the death of his old boss Marion overwhelm Erlendur.
And yet, as so often happens in crime fiction, these distractions fuel his impetus to solve two old missing persons cases that seem related. With Erlendur away on mysterious personal business, his female colleague Detective Elinborg plays the central role in Outrage. The storytelling style is markedly different, focussing on Elinborg and her thought processes, and we discover just what an excellent a detective she is. Her passion for cooking, her home life and relationship with her husband and children are also explored, to the point where they play a role in how the case is solved.
For instance, the smell of tandoori food and another unknown odor at the crime scene are clues in the investigation. Off duty, he goes to warn off a blackmailer for a friend of a friend but walks in on a violent scene. The blackmailer lies battered on the floor, and Oli himself gets a smack on the head. When the woman dies in hospital Oli has to duck the queries of his colleagues as to why he was there at all.
Solving this case and staying out of hot water is his aim, while on the side a Reykjavik vagrant is trying to leave messages for him about an old paedophilia case. Read our review here. He showers at the local swimming pool and meditates on his memories and emotions.enter site
ISBN 13: 9780099541837
Contemplative and almost dreamlike in parts, Strange Shores is different in tone and narrative to the previous novels in the series. Released in English in , it is the most powerful book in the series. Due for translation by Harvill Secker. Set during the s before Erlendur joins the fledgling force, all eyes in Iceland are on the momentous chess duel between Bobby Fisher and Boris Spassky. However, a murder occurs in a cinema just after the match begins. While working traffic detail, Erlendur becomes obsessed with the drowning of a homeless alcoholic called Hannibal.
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At the same time, he searches for a young woman called Oddny who has disappeared without trace. Nobody really cares about either victim. Hannibal, for instance, was a loner whose life and death seem inconsequential. The book introduces girlfriend Halldora, his future ex-wife, and we see both his reticent and stand-offish side as well as his natural curiosity and investigative spirit germinating.
Read our full review here. The second Young Erlendur novel to appear in English takes place in Identifying the man as an aircraft mechanic called Kristvin, they are led to his workplace — the massive US military base near Keflavik.
Jar City (Inspector Erlendur Series #1) by Arnaldur Indridason, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Having visited Iceland recently, I have become a fan of Indridason, esp the Erlandur series. I have read all that are available in the U. Like a girl in some legend, she flees from her own wedding, leaving the groom and guests waiting at the reception. To please his ex-wife, Erlendur undertakes to find her and discovers that this story connects with that of his own daughter, with whom he builds a moving relationship when he discovers that she is pregnant.
In spite of all the modern science, the message of the story is an ancient one, about secrets hidden in families that can be passed down from generation to generation. This careful, sparsely-written book operates at a deeper level than most crime fiction: it conveys the sense of painful inevitability underlying the old stories that medieval Icelanders told through the long winter nights. Jar City is the first of Indridason's "Reykjavik Murder Mystery" series, which looks as if it will be a worthy addition to the national tradition.
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