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More Icelandic melancholy
on 10 March 2015
Arnaldur Indridason's Inspector Erlendur novels are superior titles in the Nordic noir canon. They are slow, thoughtful and introspective, often concerned with long-unsolved mysteries and disappearances, and the scars and doubts these leave with those left behind. In Hypothermia, Erlendur almost becomes a private detective, looking into what at first appears to be a straightforward case of suicide, and then entangling himself in the unsolved disappearance of two seemingly unrelated cases from years' back.
What drives much of this interest is Erlendur's own demons surrounding the disappearance of his brother in a storm years' ago - an ongoing unsolved mystery that sits at the heart of most of these books. As ever, it's the characters, their motivations and the sympathetic, non-judgemental approach that Erlendur adopts that makes these books far superior to the work of other authors. The plot in this one is perhaps a little bit predictable - indeed Indridason almost tees it up that way - but as ever its the mood cast by the wake of unsolved mysteries and the fractious nature of Erlendur's relationships with his own family that sustains much of the interest.