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Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 9) [Hardcover]

Arnaldur Indridason
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 Aug 2013 Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 9

A missing woman. A missing boy. Detective Erlendur returns - for the last time

A young woman walks into the frozen fjords of Iceland, never to be seen again. But Matthildur leaves in her wake rumours of lies, betrayal and revenge.

Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for Matthildur but also for a long-lost brother, whose disappearance in a snow-storm when they were children has coloured his entire life. He is looking for answers.

Slowly, the past begins to surrender its secrets. But as Erlendur uncovers a story about the limits of human endurance, he realises that many people would prefer their crimes to stay buried.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (15 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846557119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846557118
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,080 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


"A fascinating story and the resolution of Mattildur's disappearance feels authentic and believable. Readers who like retribution in their crime novels may find Erlunder's balanced, free-from-judgemental approach difficult to comprehend, but to me this was one of the most appealing aspects of the novel. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to say goodbye to one of my favourite fictional characters" (Reading Matters)

"One of the most brilliant crime writers of his generation" (Sunday Times)

"As ever, Indridason's writing combines a keen sense of place with an astringent investigation of the human psyche" (Radio Times)

"Arnaldur Indridason is one of the greats of modern crime fiction. Tragic and compelling" (Joan Smith Sunday Times)

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

"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)

"Essential Scandi-fiction" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

A missing woman. A missing boy. Detective Erlendur returns - for the last time

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erlandur Redux? 20 Aug 2013
By James
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Or perhaps not. It is, in all likelihood, the last. Beautifully and simply written, gloomy and gruesome and tender. Of all the Nordic noir writers, Indridason is the most soulful and the most spare. Not all the books in the series are as effective - they dip when Erlandur is not the main protagonist - nor are they always similar in mood or intent, but this, the seeming last of them, is one of the best and the most moving - a quality all the books have.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end for Erlendur? 15 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
And so the end is near, and Detective Erlendur faces his final curtain. Billed as the last book of the superlative Murder In Reykavik series to feature Erlendur, I will of course endeavour not to give anything away in terms of how likely he is to return or not, not wishing to mar your own journey across the frozen wastes with our long established Icelandic detective...

From the initial epigraph, taken from a poem by Icelandic poet Snorri Hjartarson, the novel carries a strange ethereal air, compounded by Erlendur's involvement in two missing person cases, firmly rooted in the distant past. Indridason uses the conceit of Erlendur being on vacation to facilitate this, and crucially camping out in the ruins of his childhood home, neatly casting the pall of past events over the novel. From the haunting echoes of his past life that Erlendur experiences, as he revisits his brother's disappearance when they were young boys, to the case of a missing woman, Matthildur, from many years previously that piques his interest as a detective, the associated guilt and the sense of unfinished business looms large throughout. Erlendur doggedly tracks the course of events leading to the woman's disappearance, stirring up some uncomfortable truths and uncovering the wounds of the past in a controlled and slow burning, but eminently satisfactory central plot. Indridason employs his characteristic sublime pacing neatly reflecting the slow march of time, but also how incidental this is for those whose lives are so defined by events of the past.

The more elderly and curmudgeonly characters Indridason employs in this storyline are a joy, providing a wonderful mirror image of Erlendur's own tendencies towards these darker and introspective moods.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A new Arnaldur novel is always an event, but this book confirms that he is in the very first rank of contemporary novelists. This seems to me the most Icelandic of the Reykjavik series, but you don't have to be aware of its literary hinterland to be drawn into both the central emotional trajectory and the unfolding events that fuel it. The Nobel-winning Nobel author Halldor Laxness would have been proud of the ending, and there is no higher praise. Although part of a terrific series, this stands on its own merits. The translation is superb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was another simply brilliant novel by Arnaldur Indridason. Erlendur, the protagonist in all the other Reykjavik series books, returns to the moors of Iceland to investigate a 60 year old case, and search for his brother Beggi out on the moors, an ongoing side event in the previous novels. The descriptions by Indridason are once again fantastic, and like all Icelandic authors I have read, Indridason once again manages to create a tale full of melancholy and mystery. This is an absolutely brilliant novel, easily his best yet, but you need to read the other novels in the series first to truly appreciate this gem.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erlendur's final case 15 Aug 2013
Sadly this is the last book in the series. `Strange Shores' sees the return of Erlendur but not to Reykjavik. The last two novels `Outrage' and `Black Skies' have involved cases during his time away, in `Strange Shores' we find out what he was doing out in the wilderness. It is a very poignant story and not recommended unless you have read the entire series. By now followers of the Reykjavik books will be aware that Erlendur is obsessed by missing person's cases and of how his life has been coloured by the disappearance of his younger brother in a blizzard when they were children. That background information is needed to get the most from this story. Through a series of flashbacks we learn more about his childhood and the events of that tragic day.

Erlendur's final case appropriately involves a young woman Matthildur, who went missing in the same area in 1942 and her body was never found. As Erlendur talks to the locals it soon becomes apparent that they are all hiding something. I get the impression that this is the story that was always going to end the series but I sure that it will get mixed responses from Indridason's fans.

I can't recommend this series highly enough to fans of crime fiction, especially those looking for books without too much blood and gore. Personally I think his books are wonderful, intriguing plots, interesting and believable characters, the way landscapes are described. I am looking forward to see what he comes up with next.

I received a proof copy from the publisher but was under no obligation to review it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rob Kitchin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Erlendur has always been haunted by the disappearance of his brother in a snow storm and the fact that his body was never found. He blames himself for the death and searches the moors for his final resting place. He is drawn to the story of Matthildur, a young woman who similar vanished whilst walking in the hills. Indridason weaves these two threads together in Strange Shores. As with previous books, the pace is often slow, ponderous and reflexive. That in itself is fine, however, the story suffered from two issues. First, after a decent start, it began to feel like a novella extended into a novel, with too much of the tale not moving the story forward. Second, some of the dialogue felt clunky, which might have been a translation effect, but disrupted the narrative. Further, the conclusion of the story seemed to be oddly out of key. My overall impression then was that Strange Shores has the usual trademark melancholy, atmosphere and sense of place of the other tales in the series, but the plot and telling was weaker and thinner than some of the other books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange Sadness
Have read all the books in the series and enjoyed each one.
There is a bleakness that pervades the book like the Icelandic cold as the sad and sorry tale unfolds. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Chris W
4.0 out of 5 stars Erlendur
A bleak and sad little story with a great sense of time and place. Erlendur's search for the answer to his brother's resting place parallels the story of Ezra and his search for... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Elaine Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and heartbreaking
Beautiful, reflective and a fitting end to the series. Strange shores fills in the gaps in one's knowledge and understanding of how Erlendur became the Erlendur we know. Read more
Published 21 days ago by M. Burrows
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book from Indridason
Good plot, atmospheric. Indridason ties up the mystery of his brothers disappearance with out completely giving it away, still leaving some mystery for the reader. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely he is not dead!!!!
Fantastic read. Having read all 9 this one had so much atmosphere. I can't believe Erlendur is gone. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ladylaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Peace for Erlender
At last Erlendur finds his brother and some peace,an interesting tale entwined with Ezra and his torment. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deborah
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Shores
I have read a number of books by this authors. This was not one of his best in my view
Published 5 months ago by David Balfour
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Icelandic Yarn
I love Indridasons descriptions of the Icelandic countryside aswell as the stories. I have developed a fondness for all the characters.
Published 5 months ago by geraldine sharples
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great!
I couldn't stop reading it. It is a magic novel, like most of Arnaldur Indridason. Unfortunately, the end is a bit sad.
Published 5 months ago by Luis Rubio
4.0 out of 5 stars Snow Closes on Erlunder
I've always been strangely gripped by the dark, morose world of Indridason. This one held me, too, although not quite as tightly as some of the others. Read more
Published 6 months ago by PETER STONE
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