'The Quick'. A woman swims in a remote, milky-blue lagoon. Steam rises from the water, and as it clears, a body is revealed in the ghostly light.
'The Dead'. Miles away, a vast aircraft hangar rises behind the perimeter fence of the US military base. A sickening thud is heard as a man’s body falls from a high platform.
'The Forgotten'. Many years before, a schoolgirl went missing. The world has forgotten her. But Erlendur has not.
'The Searcher'. Erlendur Sveinsson is a newly promoted detective with a battered body, a rogue CIA operative and America’s troublesome presence in Iceland to contend with. In his spare time he investigates a cold case. He is only starting out, but he is already up to his neck.
©2014 Arnaldur Indridason. English translation copyright © Victoria Cribb 2015. (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks
"His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical." (Harlan Coben)
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"The Master Of Nordic Gloom"
I have enjoyed all of this series. It seems that Arnaldur Indridason has run out of inspiration for scenarios for the main detective, Erlendur, in the chronology he had been following from the start of the series. In the two books prior to this one, the first had Erlendur on holiday and the case being handled by his assistants, the second was a backwards leap in time to when Erlendur was a beat cop, and how he became a detective. This one pretty much picks up from where that left off. It is set in 70's and even then Erlendur is looking back to what is really a cold case as well as a 'current' murder linked to the US Base at Keflavik. What that means for the series is that we have lost two of the more interesting characters, Erlendur's grown up, problem children.
As always, the historical detail regarding Iceland and the American bases there, adds an interesting perspective to an excellently plotted and paced story. With Sean Barrett as narrator you can't ask for much more. My only quibble with the series is in the fact that the author determined not to identify the character, Marion, Erlendur's mentor, as male or female. I find that the writing becomes very contrived in trying to maintain this 'subterfuge'. In the earlier books, Marion was a bit-part character, already retired and while the non-identification was noticeable it wasn't too intrusive. In this latest volume Marion is effectively the lead detective, and so features quite heavily. The constant use of the name rather than a pronoun does become wearing.
"Quite good, but didn't have me on the edge of my chair."
Sean Barrett - brilliant! The story was fine, but lacked any feeling of suspense. Enjoyable, but a bit tame.
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