In Reykjavik Nights, Arnaldur Indridason introduces us to Inspector Erlendur before he becomes Inspector. He’s just a beat cop noticing patterns and following up on crimes that are written off as an accident. Working nights, he meets plenty of drunks and wife-beaters, but its the missing that captivate his interest.
Having met and helping a drunk several times on his watch, he’s bothered by the accidental drowning death a short time after a fire. The pieces aren’t connecting and he investigates on his own until clues start fitting together.
This is a slow paced book, where Indridson reveals so many details that can be put together for a murder that no one else even realized had happened. Its interesting to see how an Inspector starts out before they become experienced.
Read March 2019
Jo Nesbo’s The Redeemer is a true Harry Hole novel. Lots of thumbing his nose as his superiors while he fights off his desire for alcohol and following the clues wherever they lead him. He is a moral crime fighter trying to make sure the bad guys are found, but the punishment may not be what society would recommend. In this novel, there’s several character storylines that intertwine and its hard to tell who’s done which deeds. In the end, Harry makes a choice that while moral on one hand, lets a murder occur and a murderer escape.
Read December 2018
Jorn Lier Horst’s Dregs finds Police Inspector William Wisting investigating left feet that wash up on the shores. Several people went missing months ago, some connected to each other, some not, and Wisting needs to find the connections.
The story behind the murders is decades old and shows the patience and treachery people can be capable of.
Read July 2018
Another great read by Camilla Lackberg. The Drowning tells the story of childhood trauma carrying into adulthood in a strange way.
Excellent mystery with an unexpected twist.
Read November 2017
Hakan Nesser allows us insight into the murderer’s mind in the Hour of the Wolf when we see the first accidental murder and the following cover-ups to hide the crime. Alongside the murderer, we follow the investigation led by Chief Inspector Reinhart, Van Veeteren’s successor. When Van Veeteren’s son turns up murdered and left in a ditch, the whole team must work tirelessly to find their mentor’s son’s killer.
The murdered confounds the police since the crimes are not decisively connected. The first murder seems completely unrelated but is the key to understanding what happened and what will happen. Van Veeteren must also come to terms with his son’s past and how it connected to his murder. The key to understanding the crime comes from him with his ability to look into a criminal’s thought process to deduce the reasoning behind the crimes.
Read October 2017
In broken verses, there are two essential relationships. Pakistani’s greatest poet and his muse, as well as the muse’s relationship with her daughter. The story is told from the daughter’s perspective, years after the poet was murdered by government thugs and her mother went missing. Aasmani has never recovered from her mother’s desertions after the poet’s death, nor the many, many times she left her when he poet was exiled.
Through letters written in the poet’s secret code, Aasmani tries to unravel the mystery behind the poet’s death and her mother’s desertion. Having believed that the only ones who knew the code were dead, Aasmani doesn’t know what to make of the letters until she starts to believe one or the other didn’t die. Her current romance and her relationship with her family become strained as Aasmani investigates the source of the letters and confusion builds as more letters are received.
Beautifully, poetically written.
Read June 2017
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song tells the story of a family unravelling. Siri, a well known chef; John, a novelist with writer’s block; Jenny, Siri’s mother; young kids in the house and neighborhood; and the nanny. The stories of the characters intertwine and change from blaming themselves to blaming each other. What happens to an already disruptive family when the nanny, a beautiful young woman, ends up missing after a birthday party for Jenny. A party Siri plans but no one else wants.
Is it the philandering husband? The jealous wife? The alcoholic grandmother? One of the children? Or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time? The narrative weaves the guilt of each person and their relationships until we finally learn what happened.
This was a slow read for me, but I think the pacing of the book is meant to mimic the coldness in the family. When no one can trust or talk to one another, a frigidness and slowness seeps in.
Read November 2016.