The first of Indridasons books featuring Inspector Erlandur (since surnames are patronymic or matronymic, Icelanders call everyone regardless of rank by their first names) translated into English, this story chilled me to the core and I am looking forward to spending more time in Reykjavik as the series progresses.
Upon discovering the murder of a man named Holberg, Erlandur and his partners Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli must work to determine if this is the usual clumsy Icelandic crime or something more. As the book progresses it becomes clear to Erlandur that it is indeed something more, to the disgruntlement of his partners. Seemingly disparate crimes, families and issues (and even Erlandur own tortured relationships with his children) coalesce into a horrific story. Genetic research, long-buried secrets including rape and police malfeasance flesh out this thought provoking thriller. The lead characters are well fleshed out and intriguing, even the tertiary characters fell like flesh and blood.
“Erlendur didn’t believe in premonitions, visions or dreams, nor reincarnation or karma, he didn’t believe in God although he’d often read the Bible, nor in eternal life or that his conduct in this world would affect whether he went to heaven or hell. He felt that life itself offered a
mixture of the two.”
Based on this strong novel, I’ll be checking out the film by Baltasar Kormakur and I’m looking forward to spending more time with these characters and have already collected the rest of this series. It was that good.