Into Oblivion is the second book in the Inspector Erlendur prequel series, set in 1978 not long after he became a detective. He works here with his mentor Marion, a crotchety but infinitely crafty long-time Inspector. They make an interesting team and Erlendur’s inherent melancholy dovetails well with Marion’s curmudgeonly demeanor.
A woman finds a body while soaking in a lagoon in the middle of a lava field. The water and mud are thought to have healing properties for people suffering with psoriasis, but this man is fully clothed. When they pull him from the water, he folds like a rag doll, as if every bone in his body has been broken. He clearly hasn’t drowned. But how did he get there?
Alongside this investigation, Erlendur works on a cold case, that of a young woman who vanished on the way to school 25 years ago. To those who have read all the Erlender books, it is well known why missing persons is such an obsession with the man. It was interesting to see him grappling with these things even then. We also get some background into his relationship with his ex-wife and two children, particularly his daughter Eve Lind.
The cases themselves are interesting enough, but what I was more interested in Erlendur’s early life and the complicated relationship Icelanders had with the American military in the aftermath of WWII and during the Cold War. A solid addition to Indridason’s oeuvre.