Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BOOK: Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason, 314 pages
translated by Victoria Cribb

A Reykjavik Murder Mystery

A Continuing Series Review Format:

Give a brief summary of the book:
Inspector Erlendur is not supposed to investigating the suicide of Maria, a young woman, but when her friend comes to him, concerned, with a tape from a seance, something doesn't seem quite right. He begins asking around, without any proper authorization. Additionally, he reopens a few very old missing person files, hoping to ease the mind of a dying father.

Erlendur is coming to terms with the decisions he made years ago to leave his family, as his son and daughter become more and more a part of his present day life after no contact for most of their childhood. The disappearance of his younger brother in a blizzard when they were ten and eight has defined Erlendur's whole life, and the cases he is working on are always related to that incident. I like how Erlendur is growing in his personal life, learning to look beyond his own pain.
I liked reading the parallel story of Maria before she committed suicide, and seeing what was going on in her state of mind.
The dark, cold atmosphere of Iceland is perfect for this time of year.

There was almost no interaction with his partners, Sigurdur Oli or Elinborg and I missed them as characters in the story.
There is a new translator in the series as Bernard Scudder, the original translator of the first five books, died during the last book, Arctic Chill. I don't remember noticing the British words before, maybe they always were there, but using terms like 'lorry', 'boot', and 'lift' really stuck out for me as British, but not necessarily Icelandic words.

Additional Thoughts on the Series:
I've been recommending this mystery series to everyone I know. Good solid mysteries, great character development over the course of the series, and exotic location (doesn't anywhere not your home seem exotic?)

This was the third book in the series I've read this year, and there are no more translated as of now. I have the one early one left to read. I see by wikipedia that there are two recent books that haven't been translated yet. Come on Victoria, get to work!

thanks to Randomhouse Canada for the review copy.