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4.1 out of 5 stars
Hypothermia (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 6)
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2009
Arnaldur Indridasson has for some time been among the cream of the explosion of crime and mystery writing currently emanating from the Nordic countries; A writer who eschews melodrama, keeps his cast of characters concise and tightly drawn and suffuses all of his writing with a slightly doleful understatement. His main character, Erlandur, superficially ticks all the boxes for the identikit modern fictional detective; middle-aged (check), unhappy family life (check), bit of a loner (check), dogged and brilliant (check) - in this respect for Erlandur read Wallander, Rebus, Banks etc. What differentiates Indridasson are the depth of his psychological insight and his willingness to stretch the conventional form into areas where lesser writers would not dare to go, working without the safety net of big plot, big action or supporting cast of big characters, but keeping the reader glued to the personalities involved and to the slow revealing of a complex and ultimately tragic story. This latest instalment has Erdlandur working on his own to resolve events that may or may not be crimes, but whose resolution will in any event have little direct impact on anyone alive. That resolution is as much about recovering and honouring the memory of the lost, as it is about exposing the actions of the guilty. Indridasson is by nature a sparse writer, there is little embellishment and the "octane level" is kept rather low - but his mastery of pace and narrative fluency are simply unrivalled (contrast him with the much hyped, highly enjoyable but infinitely more frenetic and long-winded Stieg Larsson). I've long felt that Indridasson is among the very best crime writers working in Europe; for me Hypothermia elevates him onto a different literary level. Highly recommended
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2010
I bought this book because I had loved reading the Henning Mankell series about the detective Wallander. Indridason is Icelandic and sets his novel there. It has a similar feel to Mankell and the main character is a detective Erlendar who would, I'm sure, be seen as a kindred soul by Wallander. I found Erlendar bleak to the point of desperate and his family situation dysfunctional and distressing. The pace of the novel is pleasingly slow and has a number of psychological twists. Discussions of Icelandic culture and geography are very interesting and the novel as whole was a good read. I would read other books in this series.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2010
A young woman is found at her summer house by a lake. She has hung herself from one of the beams. There is no foul-play involved according to the coroner. But something is bothering Erlendur. Something is tickling the back of his neck. An old man comes to see Erlendur. His son disappeared thirty years ago. He comes to see Erlendur on his sons birthday. His wife has died and he is terminal. He has come to say goodbye. Erlendur decides to give the disappearance one last look.

So begins this amazing novel. The plotting is so well done that you feel that you are with Erlendur every step of the way. Sometimes you could be one or two steps ahead or behind. But he never looses the thread and keeps plugging away. There's a side story that involves his daughter, son, ex-wife, current girlfriend and his long lost brother. We learn a lot more about the 'gloomy' and taciturn detectives' life.

Arnaldur has a way of presenting information to the reader that is at times subtle and other times brutal. But nothing is ever talked about or mentioned for no reason. Every piece of information is a building block in the story or the characters. This was a well thought out story, without any extraneous plotting.

There are two more books to the series (as of 2009) that are yet to be translated. Here's hoping they are anywhere as good as this one.

Zeev Wolfe
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2015
Erlendur investigates the suicide of a married woman on his own in this book of the series. The woman, Marie, had been troubled by the death of her father and mother. She wanted to 'pass over to the other side' and make contact with her mother; this fact Erlendur was made aware of by the woman's husband Baldvin, a doctor.
As is usual with the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries, there is a great deal 'going on' in the background / past of the people being investigated. Also, there is the missing person aspect, which Erlendur is obsessed with. In this case a young man and woman who went missing 30 years ago.
I was left wondering if there was to be a connection between the missing persons case and the suicide. As always, my interest was kept at a high. Erlendur, as a character, is dogmatic and worries away at clues/information, not letting go until he solves the puzzles.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic murder mysteries, involving characters who are believable and not 'Super Heroes '.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2009
This is the sixth novel featuring the brooding,
insular(he has never been outside Iceland),yet
fascinating Detective Erlandur.
The obsessive Maria is found hanging in her
holiday home.A seemingly clear case of suicide.
But all is quiet regarding official police work
for Erlandur,so he decides to go off on his own,
and satisfy himself concerning the circumstances
leading up to the suicide.This triggers Erlandur's
own obsession with 2 missing person cases from 30
years back,and with the disappearance of his brother
in a snow storm ,when the Detective was a child.This
has a bearing on Erlandur's current dysfunctional
family life.
This is not a conventional police procedural novel,
focusing ,as it does, a great deal on Erlandur,but it
is well written and engaging throughout.
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on 24 March 2012
This is the latest installment in the so-called Reykjavik murder mysteries series featuring detective Erlendur and his team. I have read all the previous ones and enjoyed them each tremendously, getting to know the characters as they slowly unfold. For me, it is definite boon to read a book that is set in a familar location, and Iceland to me is very familiar indeed. I have visited five times now and got to know the country reasonably well - both city and country. Reading about places that you are familar with, and understanding the Icelandic pysche as I do adds more depth to the story, and for me at least, makes these books a much more interesting read as I can relate to the characters that much more.

Each book in the series has then for me, been successively better than the last, and this one I am pleased to say was no exception. As the preview says, a woman whose mother has recently died, and who has a history of depression, is found hanging in her holiday cottage. The friend who found the body hands Erlendur a tape of the deceased speaking to a medium and so a chain reaction of events is set in motion that leads Erlendur to undertake some unofficial investigations of his own. These investigations ultimately lead him to realise that this apparent suicide is not necessary what it seems, and in the process, he also manages to solve some other unrelated crimes.

I won't go into too much detail as to exactly what does happen, for it will only ruin it for those who wish to read it for themselves. Suffice to say that the woman's home life is not what it seems, and her apparently grieving and supportive husband is harbouring secrets of his own, secrets of a misspent youth that lead Erlendur to uncover a darker, more sinister crime.

Interwoven are snippets about Erlendur's own life, and his troubled relationship with his ex wife and their two children, particularly his daughter, who is recovering drug addict. As in all good stories, Erlendur has secrets of his own, and as this series has progressed, we have got to know the man himself and what makes him the introverted and somewhat dark character that he is - not unlike the majority of Icelanders that I have known, who too have their dark side.

I guess you would have to know a little about Iceland to get the most from these books, but if you have no previous knowledge of the country, then these are an excellent way of helping you to understand what makes the Icelandic people tick.

This is the sixth out of seven installments that have so far been published, and I will miss Erlendur when I read the final book. I hope that many more will be written, but I guess I will have to wait and see.
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on 7 November 2012
As I don't usually fare too well with 'Nordic novels' (I tend to find them too dark and, if I'm being totally honest, a little bit, well, odd) this wouldn't have been my first choice of reading material but given that it was a reading group read I was happy to give it a go. Pleased that I did, not that I can say I was gripped from start to finish I was however slowly drawn in as the story unfolded layer by compelling layer.

Not to be put off by the fact that in the main character we have a fairly typical detective (male, middle aged, determined, a bit of a loner, somewhat doleful), unlike several others of his ilk I found myself well able to connect with the rather likable Erlandur.

Relatively slow but with enough psychological twists to keep it from ever being dull, Hypothermia, though concentrating mainly on what at first appears to be an open and shut case of suicide, also delves into several other older and seemingly unrelated cases, one of which was so moving that I found myself with tears in my eyes - not something that usually happens with books of this genre.

Book 6 in the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries series, though this read perfectly well as a stand alone novel I'm intrigued enough by the snippets of dialogue between Erlandur and his estranged wife in this book to want to read the previous ones.

Hypothermia (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 6)
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2011
In the sixth offering from the Reykjavik Murder Mystery Series we follow Erlendur alone as he unofficially investigates the suicide of a lady following the death of her mother two years before and the disappearance of two teenagers thirty years ago.

Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, his companions in Reykyavik CID, are cast aside and mentioned sporadically as we follow Erlendur alone as he casts aside any official investigations he surely must be carrying out to pursue the cases mentioned above. The pace, as with the previous five outings is slow, but all the better for it as there is a greater sense of realism in the gloomy nature of the investigations and it also allows you to develop a greater understanding of the characters, which in this case further develops the missing person theme, and Iceland.

All in all, this is as good as the previous five outings. The plot really does start to weave itself together during the slow pace of the investigation. Yes, the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries are slow paced, but all the more real for it.
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on 29 August 2010
This is the sixth in this excellent series. If you like crime fiction I would urge you to read these novels in sequence. Over time you will learn about a moody and troubled policeman Erlendur who does things his own way - old fashioned detective work. No red herrings or blind alleys to mislead the reader just simple story telling which is interwoven by the history of our central character that means he is forever at a loss to explain his inability to socialise. How this back story unravels against each story in the series is what takes Indridason's writing to a different level.
Brilliant translation, quality writing set against the unique background of Iceland where one person's missing relative is another unsolved murder....perhaps. Read this once you've read the earlier books. Don't be put off by the seance plot - it plays out in a very normal story we can all identify with, this is a down to earth account of loss and searching for truth. It is the theme of the book both in the story and Erlendur's own journey of self-discovery.
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