Saturday, May 15, 2010

Arctic Chill

Arctic Chill Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indriðason

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I got this book from my friend who lives in Iceland. (It is written by an Icelandic author.) Since I like mysteries, and I've been to Iceland twice, he thought I'd like it - and he was right! Even though is is a later book in a series, I was still able to enjoy it. In fact, I want to go back and read the earlier books now, too!

The book follows inspector Erlendur as he tries to unravel the murder of a 10-year old Thai boy. Not everyone in Iceland wants immigrants there, especially not "brown" ones. So through his investigation we get to see a lot of different reactions by suspects/witnesses. It is an interesting glimpse into Icelandic society.

Erlendur is pretty much a loner (aren't all detectives in such novels? ;-), and can be pretty gruff, but he is intelligent and clearly wants to solve this crime. His interactions with his co-workers and his estranged family give us a bit of insight into why he is the way he is. It is some of this background that I hope to get more of when I read the earlier books in the series.

I definitely enjoyed the mystery, and enjoyed "seeing" Iceland again, and "visiting" parts of Reykjavik I've seen before. My only complaint was the ending - like so many books, it seems, the author reaches the end and rushes through in 3-4 pages, and doesn't slow down to fully examine or experience the denouement. It was very "wham, bam, thank you ma'am"! But, this is a small nit to pick. Any fan of detective fiction will enjoy this, and will get the added flavor of Iceland, to boot! :-)

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