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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Icelandic Mystery!

Black Skies: An Inspector Erlendur NovelBlack Skies: An Inspector Erlendur Novel by Arnaldur Indriðason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first books I read by a Scandinavian author were the Steig Larson trilogy. This led me to see the Scandinavian movie versions, on to the Masterpiece Wallendar series, then to the original European series which carried me to several other Scandinavian TV crime series complete with subtitles. I have since become a fan of the genre and this book, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway, in no way disappointed.

The action is subdued in tone--there are several deaths but the actual details of the attacks are minimal. While one of the deaths is believed to have resulted from a blackmail attempt on a rising politico and her husband by the couple who arranged wife swapping parties which they attended, there is no gratuitous sex scenes. There are actually three different crimes being investigated, four if you count the pilfering of an old lady's newspaper from her mailbox, but they seem to be totally unconnected.

The main character is Sigurdur Oli, a member of the Icelandic police force, whose lengthy live-in relationship has ended although, oblivious as he is to his lack of warmth and affection for others, he is hoping to resuscitate. He doesn't see how he or his mother contributed to the break-up and seems only mildly disturbed by his girlfriend's new relationship. This coldness and distance makes him a good investigator and the reader is carried along through the permutations that lead to the solving of mysteries with a really surprising ending.

The lack of crazy car chases, bullets flying, impossibly acrobatic sex scenes, and blood and gore produced a very satisfying cerebral crime story that seemed to be more realistic than most others. I only wish that Sigurdur Oli had a shorter name, although one would never think of him as Siggi. Looking forward to checking out a few more in this series.

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1 comment:

  1. I think this would be a novel I'd like.
    Hope to hear from you soon and that you had a happy Thanksgiving.