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Black Skies Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099563371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099563372
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger.

Product Description


"Essential Scandi-fiction" (Sunday Express)

"An international literary phenomenon - and it's easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical" (HARLAN COBEN)

"Satisfying and topical... Brilliant stuff" (Maxine Clark Eurocrime)

"Black Skies is one of, if not the best, of Indridason's books" (Michael Carlson Crime Time)

"Indridason is perhaps the best crime writer alive... Masterful as ever" (Sydney Sun Herald)

Book Description

A suspected blackmailer is found murdered in this gripping crime story from the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger winner, Arnaldur Indridason

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Simon Clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Indridason's latest crime novel focuses on the detective Sigurdur Oli,
his boss,Erlendur,having taken leave in his native rural Iceland.
Sigurdur is helping a friend of a friend who is being blackmailed,
when he walks in on the woman he wants to speak to,finding her beaten
unconscious with a baseball bat.Although this compromises his position
as a detective,he continues investigating,largely on his own.This leads
to him uncovering some shady financial transactions.

Whilst this is primarily an excellent crime novel,with many a twist and
turn,it is also a social commentary on the greed and moral torpitude in
Iceland in the boom time,just prior to its collapse.Additionally,it
skillfully shows the main character,Sigurdur Oli,growing as a human
being as he re-assesses his broken marriage,his parents,and many of his
preconceived views.
A highly readable novel of considerable breadth.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
With Erlendur traveling and incommunicado and Elinborg away from the Reykjavik police station, only Sigurdur Oli is left of the team to conduct police business. However, first he's asked by his good friend Patrekur to do him a favor. It seems that his sister-in-law and her husband got involved in wife-swapping, and now are being threatened with exposure if they don't pay blackmail money. Sigurdur Oli is asked to have a word with the female blackmailer, retrieve the pictures and get her off the couple's back.

When Sigurdur Oli goes to the blackmailer's home, he finds the door unlocked. When he enters he discovers her body on the floor and determines that she's been killed by a blow to the head. And then he's hit with a baseball bat, and the perpetrator runs out of the house. The policeman chases but loses his quarry. Thus begins a long and complicated plot which ultimately also involves a banking scandal and another murder.

The novel is pretty much a straightforward police procedural, and an intense look at Sigurdur Oli's personal life. It is a departure from other of the author's efforts, and certainly not as intense as "Jar City" or "Hypothermia." This reader can't tell whether it is the translation or the original prose which is different from the haunting style of the author's previous works. In any event, it should be read, and is recommended.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rob Kitchin on 11 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having read all seven, translated police procedural novels by Arnaldur Indridason featuring Erlandur and his team, I was looking forward to reading Black Skies. It was, however, a book I struggled to get into and I might have put it to one side to pick up again later except for the fact that it was the only reading material I had on a flight. The first hundred pages or so seemed ponderous and lifeless, the writing, especially the dialogue, flat. Sigurdur Oli is out of sorts and so is the tale. Indridason's writing is always a little ponderous, building up in layers, gently engulfing the reader in an atmospheric fog, but it didn't quite work in the first half of Black Skies. However, by the second half of the book the story took on more shape, purpose and pace, with the various strands being woven together to create a nice tapestry. It was almost if Indridason started off without really knowing Sigurdur or the plot and developed each as the story unfolded, slowly putting a form on each. The tale itself, with its three interconnected storylines - the murder investigation, Sigurdur's private life, and Andreas' disassembly - eventually work themselves out nicely. Moreover, given that the story is set just prior to the Icelandic financial meltdown it provides a nice insight into the national psyche concerning its new found wealth and its trappings. Overall, a book that takes a while to get going, but rounds out into a satisfactory police procedural.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
Our favorite Reykjavik policeman, Erlandur has gone on leave, trying to find himself. What the novel refers to, but no one really addresses is that Erlandur has gone missing, and no one knows where he is. He is a beloved colleague, strange and with many issues, but a fearless leader. In the previous novel, Elinborg rose to the fore. The second in command, with a husband and family. She is concerned that her career is taking precedence over her family. Now, we get to meet the real Sigurdur Oli, up close and personal.

Sigurdur comes with a lot of baggage. He has never been one of the favored colleagues. A tall, thin, sparse man, with fixed ideologies. He spent time in the US, and, he loves the Americans, their football, The Cowboys, (the man has no taste, here), baseball, the Red Sox (ah, a man with great taste), rock roll, and US television shows. He is separated from his wife, they had tried for years to have children, with no success, and Sigurdur is a difficult man to get along with. We meet his mother, an intelligent accountant, very unlikable woman, rigid with order being her philosophy. Like mother, like son? Sigurdur's father on the other hand, is a laid back plumber, not wanting to bother anyone.

Sigudur has gone to a college reunion where most of his classmates are wealthy and successful, and he feels the opposite. Still a detective, and not going anywhere. One friend asks for his assistance in helping a friend. This leads to blackmail from a swinger's club and then murder and an ethical probe for Sigurdur. The murder investigation widens and leads Sigurdur in many directions. He does return to his ethical background, and turns out to be one of the more interesting of men.
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