Harðskafi

Hypothermia is the 6th volume in the “Reykjavík Murder Mystery” series of Arnaldur Indriðason, featuring the inspector Erlunder. The book is hardly a crime fiction book, even less than the previous ones I read, and not so much about society this time as about the personal problems of Erlunder. (The title is the name of a mountain in the east of Iceland where Erlunder’s childhood tragedy occurred. And that could prove instrumental for the resolution of his sense of loss and lack of familial attachments…) The pacing is slow (as in slow food, a positive feature!) and most of the book does not feel at all like a detective story. At some point, I was wondering whether Indriðason was getting into a fantastic novel. While set in the same referential as the earlier novels, this book is very special and original, even though I presume I am missing some Icelandic referential in terms of the importance of lakes and family roots and theatre. In a sense, the weakest point of Hypothermia is the partial resolution of the criminal aspect of the story as it stretches a lot the boundaries of the credible. But the remainder of the story and the re-creation of the past and present familial links of Erlunder is quite quite enjoyable… I would rank Grafarþögn a wee higher because of the intense story of abuse in the background, but still a great book.

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