Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BOOK: Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason

Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason, 344 pages
translated by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb

in the pub '09; Orbis Terrarum: Iceland

continuing mystery series review questions:

Give a brief summary of the book:
A young Thai boy has been found stabbed on the playground. Erlunder, Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli investigate, looking into possible racial motives. Erlunder has another missing person investigation, his personal interest, he is also working on.

The mystery was good. We really are a part of the detectives investigation in this book and only get to know what they know, making this a real police procedural. The story moves along pretty quickly as the police follow one clue after another. There was lots of discussion about immigration in Iceland and the attitudes and prejudices that can happen. I think in some ways I can identify with the Icelanders; living on an island really isolates a place and on PEI we deal with some of the same type of issues in terms of culture and 'the Island way of life.' Also, the extreme weather can shape a people. I'm not saying that our weather is as bad but it helps to define culture and people. The weather is lack of sunlight is a real part of the atmosphere in these stories.

I really like the three main characters and their ongoing stories. I can't say much about that, but Erlundur is slowly, oh so slowly, growing and becoming more socially aware of the people around him. There is more development in the possible mystery surrounding his brother's death when they were children.

Not much to add here. When you get a good mystery series going it's like good times with old friends, so you don't really notice any of their faults.
I dislike that there is only one more book, after Hypothermia which according to Wikipedia, will be published in 2009, left to be translated.

Additional Thoughts:
I noticed the dedication was to Bernard Scudder, the translator who died in 2008, hence the two names for translation. That's really sad, because I would imagine the translator of a series greatly contributes to the atmosphere and tone and overall impression of the books. The fact that Indridason dedicated this newest translation speaks to the respect and appreciation that he must have felt to Scudder for his translations.


  1. I've just recently picked up the earlier volumes in this series but haven't had a chance to read them as yet; I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for discussing this novel.

  2. Wow...this series sounds like one I'd really enjoy! I don't think I've ever read anything about Iceland, fiction or non-fiction. Thanks for the wonderful review!

  3. "When you get a good mystery series going it's like good times with old friends, so you don't really notice any of their faults." That is so true and well put!

    Sounds like a great series.

  4. This sounds like the type of series that I would enjoy. I'll have to go to fantastic fiction and find the first one. Great review :)

  5. Ive got Jar City on my OT-list and am really looking forward to it. Thanks for your review! Glad to hear that the whole series is good!!


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