Monday, April 18, 2016

Mondays in Iceland - #58

Into Oblivion

An Icelandic Thriller
By Arnaldur Indriðason
Minotaur Books

This is the eleventh in the Inspector Erlendur series, although it would be the second in a chronological order.

Taking place in the late-seventies, Erlendur has been recently promoted to Inspector and works with his mentor, the gender-unspecified "Marion" to investigate a battered corpse that has turned up in the waste pool (which would later become the Blue Lagoon) from the geothermal plant on the Midnesheidi moor. An old missing-persons case from the early 1950s also captures Erlendur's attention.

The sub-theme behind both of these incidents is the US military base in Keflavík and how it distorted the values of the Icelandic citizens who dealt with it. There is a fair amount of history of a temporary housing project built upon old US facilities, a history which I found to be very interesting. Camp Knox, featured in the book, was where the Vesturbæjarlaug pool was later built and was also a subject of the excellent film Devil's Island.

The formula of this series is beginning to ossify, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does tend to make all the books blur together after a while. Still, I found it to be  worthwhile and it is a must for those who like their mysteries seasoned with an Icelandic flavor.

By Professor Batty


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