This book in the Inspector Erlendur series by Arnaldur Indridason doesn’t even have Erlendur in it. I see that’s why later covers of his novels bear the subheading ” A Reykjavik Thriller” rather than “An Inspector Erlendur Novel”. But no matter, the absence of Erlendur is explained, as at the end of the last one he had set off to the east of Iceland to once again go in search of his brother. Though we do learn near the end of this installment that he appears to be missing, which is troubling.
In the absence of our melancholy Inspector, this book features his colleague Elinborg. It falls on her to investigate the gruesome murder of a young man in a fashionable neighborhood in Reykjavik. As she begins her inquiry, the man appears to be quiet law-abiding citizen, with no enemies, though one with few (if any) friends. Then, the case takes a disturbing turn; it appears that he has been drugging and attacking young women for years. The instances stack up as Elinborg goes from the city to the small village where he grew up in search of answers. Now it seems as there is no shortage of suspects and even Elinborg wonders if the perpetrator didn’t do society a favor.
Throughout we are treated to an inside look at Elinborg and her family. An interesting look not just into what it’s like to be a female detective but a working mother trying to balance caregiving with the harsh realities of the modern world. Nice addition to Indridason’s mystery oeuvre.