Thursday, January 21, 2010

Arctic Chill

A Thriller. By Arnaldur Indriðason, Minotaur Books, New York, 2009

This latest* installment in the Inspector Erlendur series is another bleak visit to the world of Icelandic murder and intrigue. One problem in this continuing series is that there is always a chapter or two devoted to exposition, but once things get rolling the action picks up considerably. These stories always have a sub-context concerning Icelandic society and conflicts caused by change. This time the questions of immigration and prejudice are at the forefront of the narrative, with a nasty murder of a Icelandic-Thai child sending Erlendur off on a search for the murderer and, as is always the case, his own demons.

Fans of the series should enjoy this book thoroughly, newcomers might want to start with Jar City AKA Tainted Blood (Mýrin, in Icelandic.) There is just enough continuity in these stories to warrant reading them in order.

*The latest book in the US market. We are about 3 years behind the Icelandic publication, and a couple of years behind the UK, perhaps because Arnaldur's long-time translator, Bernard Scudder, died recently.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Darien Fisher-Duke said...

I can't read this (review) until I've read that (book).

Blogger Darien Fisher-Duke said...

I hadn't been aware of Bernard Scudder's death. What a productive, accomplished writer/translator.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

You know that I don't do plot summaries, I'm more of a generalist when it comes to reviews. I've noticed that Scudder was the "first-call" translator, along with Victoria Cribb. Sjón's The Blue Fox is next up on my Icelandic TBR...

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