Monday, December 06, 2010

Mystery Monday - Arnaldur Indridason

I received Arctic Chill, the fifth book in Arnaldur Indridason's mystery series set in Iceland, featuring Inspector Erlendur, as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer selection, and had no trouble jumping right in. The fifth was so well-written that I immediately snagged the first four in the series. I'm not going to do full-on reviews of the first four books; I just wanted to mention them to anyone needing something to fill the void left by the end of the Stieg Larsson trilogy! Though the books are very different, they seem to me likely to appeal to fans of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The forbidding landscape, insular culture, and twisting mysteries are satisfying additions to my mystery shelf (shelves...who am I kidding?).

My review of Arctic Chill is right here.

Here are the first four, in order. The sixth is out in hardcover, and is called Hypothermia.

Jar City
Silence of the Grave
The Draining Lake

My overview of the series: These are excellent police procedurals, strongly rooted in solving the crime (the way I like it!), but with compelling police officers who become more nuanced with each entry in the series. Erlendur has two children, estranged until recently, and a tragedy hidden in his past that haunts him. Indridason's Iceland is bleak, insular, forbidding...and strangely captivating. When issues of racism related to immigration arise, I wondered what on earth would possess anyone to move there. Erlendur refers to "the usual Icelandic disappearances;" i.e., suicides in a casual fashion. Murders are rare and easily solved...but this series tests Erlendur's sleuthing abilities with more complex murders. Stark realism and nuanced characterization make this series stand out from a sea of procedurals.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I read Jar City and wasn't all that intrigued. Too much thinking and too little action for me. I liked the insights into Icelandic culture and learning more about a place entirely new to me but I found the plot a wee bit tedious.