An Inspector Erlendur Mystery
By Arnaldur Indriðason
Minotaur Books, US edition 2015
Hooray! Erlendur is back, this time in sort of a prequel to the other books in the series. Set in 1976, Erlendur is a young traffic officer who works the night shift in Reykjavík. To the usual mix of accidents, drunks and domestics is added the the case of two missing women and the apparent death by drowning of an alcoholic who Erlendur had gotten to know. As is usually the case in this series, apparently unrelated events have hidden connections. Erlendur’s stubbornness leads him through the city in a quest to find the answers to his questions, questions the police had given up on.
If you are familiar with Reykjavík be sure to have a map of the city handy when reading, Indriðason provides street names to all the locations. The book features the city’s new building projects, giving a sense of the era between its World War II-era past and its modern incarnation. I found it fascinating, those readers without a special interest in the city may find it less so. Indriðason is exploring some aspects of his own coming-of-age in this book, with numerous seventies cultural references.