book reviews

February 24th, 2011 |

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books


Reviewed by Owana McLester-Greenfield


By Arnaldur Indridason

Minotaur Books



314 pp

Arnaldur Indridason is to Nordic crime fiction what John Sanford or Michael Connelly is to the American genre. An award winner and top seller in his native Iceland, Indridason is the author of a series of police procedurals featuring Detective Inspector Erlender Sveinsson. "Hypothermia" is the sixth work in this exceptional, gripping series.

Detective Erlender is a haunted man, due to his failed marriage and its results — a vengeful ex-wife, an estranged son and a drug-addicted daughter. He is equally haunted by the loss of his younger brother, who vanished decades earlier in a violent snowstorm. Guilt and grief have created Erlender's obsession with missing-person cases.

In "Hypothermia," Erlender pursues not only the missing but the otherworldly. His investigation into the apparent suicide of a wealthy wife leads him to séances, ghostly warnings and a husband with a history of experimenting on the dead. To his horror, Erlender learns that death due to hypothermia may be other than accidental. That chilling discovery propels the detective into the past, back to the case of the popular college student whose disappearance has taunted Erlender throughout 30 years of police work.

Indridason's outstanding Erlender series quickly becomes habit-forming. Iceland's bone-chilling temperatures and killing blizzards are the perfect setting for the author's bleak crime stories. And his guilt-ridden, dogged detective is perfectly suited to this pitiless landscape. CV