Thursday, December 11, 2008

The icelandic mysteries of Arnaldur Indridason

Indridason has won the Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger award for his mysteries. He is a great storyteller whose main character, Erlendur is hard to forget. Erlendur and his colleagues focus on missing person crimes in Reykjavik, Iceland. This is a particular interest of Erlendur because his brother disappeared when they were children. The pain of his past although submerged has greatly influenced his relationships with both of his children. His daughter Eva Lind is a drug addict who has a love/hate relationship with him and his son is not interested in any relationship with his father. His colleagues know that his personal life is a mess and he deals with it by focusing on the job. So he is not content every angle is checked or the crime is solved.
The library has four of his mysteries. Jar City is about a rapist who may have been murdered for his crimes. In the Silence of the Grave, Erlendur investigates the finding of a skeleton buried for 50 years and in The Draining Lake, the remains may be that of a cold war spy. In Voices, he investigates the murder of a Santa Claus in a luxury hotel.
Iceland is a major component of these novels. Most crimes of murder there are crimes of passion. Everyone knows everyone in the country or are related to them. Incredibly people do go missing and are never seen again. But you will be drawn to these mysteries not only for the story which is always interesting, but because you want to see Erlendur change as he begins to reach out to his colleagues, his children and possibly a love interest.

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