I am continuing on my Icelandic murder reading spree, thanks to the great suggestion of some other Cannonballers, via the Cannonball Read Chat Facebook group. Thanks, peeps! This is book two of the “Erlendur series” that has been translated from Icelandic into English. I guess books one and two didn’t merit translation? For some reason, the English series started with book three. The completist in me is desperately trying to ignore that. Let’s move on.
Inspector Erlendur is back, as he and his fellow detectives investigate a skeleton found at a housing development site. This mystery takes them down a long and winding journey to the past. The novel splits off after a few chapters, jumping back and forth in time. The detectives move forward with their investigation, where in the past we follow a woman, battered mentally and physically by her monster of a spouse, and try to figure out who exactly was left in an unmarked grave.
I tend to have a firm grasp a few chapters into a book whether I will like it or not, but this one through me for a loop. At first, I thought the ending seemed very obvious, so I was impatient to get to the end, and annoyed by the time jumps. However, as the portions set in the present unfolded, it became clear that the mystery wasn’t as open and shut as I thought, which made it more compelling. This brought a 3 star read to a 5 star read. Not to mention there was one moment in there, so surprising and humorous to me that I gasped out loud, another thing that I don’t often do while reading.
The only downside to these books is that I am constantly taken out of the book by struggling and stumbling over the Icelandic names. Other than that (which is clearly on me) I love these books! Great series so far. Book two flushed out even more details of Erlendur and the other two detectives, balancing solving the murder with the lives of the detectives, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment will bring.