Thursday, July 3, 2014


I am not usually a big mystery reader, but lately they seem to be just what I feel like reading. Nothing too complicated, nothing too deep,  enough of a puzzle to keep me interested,  compelling characters.  This book, Hypothermia, was the selection of the mystery book group at my library, and although I don’t attend it, several of the members told me it was really good, so I decided to give it a try. I had never even heard of Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indridason, but apparently he is fairly well known in mystery circles. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. There must be something about these Scandinavian writers that appeals to me--the sparseness of the writing, the cold, stark landscapes, the brooding detectives.

The main character in Hypothermia is Reykjavik police detective Erlendur,  another in the long line of tortured Scandinavian detectives (hello, Wallander)--moody, unhappily divorced, troubled children. When a young woman commits suicide, Erlendur dutifully notifies her husband. What looks like a clear-cut case of suicide begins to unravel after the woman's friend approaches Erlendur with doubts about the suicide.  Erlendur begins to dig deeper into the dead woman's life and finds hints of seances, the  supernatural, and the woman's obsession with the idea of life after death.  At the same time,  Erlendur is thinking about his own loss, a brother who disappeared in a blinding snowstorm on a mountain many years ago when they were children. That loss has never left him and is perhaps the reason he can't let go of other missing person cases.

I was surprised how much I liked the book, and I liked getting a glimpse of Iceland. There are several more Erlendur books, so I am looking forward to reading those too.

No comments:

Post a Comment