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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erlandur Redux?
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...
Published 13 months ago by James

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded
When I first started reading I thought it showed promise. Unfortunately it didn't live up to its promise. It never developed, almost navel introspection by the protagonist reliving the loss of his brother in a snow storm and the believed loss of a woman in a later storm. Could have been good but the pace was slow that I lost interest and it became obvious what happened by...
Published 12 months ago by Forrester


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erlandur Redux?, 20 Aug 2013
By 
James "megil" (Chester, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end for Erlendur?, 15 Aug 2013
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (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. His interactions with them, seeking to tease out the truth of past events is, at times, so filled with such poignancy that as a reader you will be genuinely moved, as the story of Matthildhur's disappearance and that of Erlendur's lost brother Bergur, converge and separate throughout the course of the book. The way that Indridason portrayed the older members of his cast was beautifully done, with some neatly fitting the traditional characteristics of a long hard life lived not without its attendant miseries, and others with a veritable twinkle of mischievousness about them. Erlendur himself pitches between his role as a natural investigator, and yet a man seemingly unable to solve the greatest mystery of his life, leading to his own reference back to and meditation on, his familial relationships. The dark sense of introspection peppered throughout the story makes the tone absolutely fitting to a book billed as a final chapter to the exploits of long standing character. As to the outcome of Erlendur's personal journey of discovery, I'm giving nothing away...

This was classic Indridason, employing his trademark precision of style and pared down dialogue, all within the arena of a beautifully imagined and flawlessly described Icelandic wilderness. Slow moving, thoughtful and with an almost supernatural feel to the whole book, Indridason continues to adhere to my own belief that he is incapable of letting the reader down, yet again producing a five star read to satisfy any lover of Scandinavian crime fiction.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Tour de Force - and a no-spoiler review, 25 Aug 2013
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A. Mcsean - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant (but read the other novels first), 29 Sep 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant Nordic melancholia, 7 Aug 2014
By 
Steve Benner "Stonegnome" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
With "Strange Shores", Arnaldur Indrišason finally wraps up a story thread which he has been dangling tantalisingly under readers' noses for the previous two books in this series of 'Reykjavik Murder Mysteries', "Outrage" and "Black Skies". In the process, he also completes a story arc that has been running pretty much through the entire series and almost certainly closes the series for good.

For English-language readers, "Strange Shores" is the ninth volume in this series of books, whilst anyone able to read them in the original Icelandic, "Furšustrandir" clocks in as the eleventh. Victoria Cribb's beautifully idiomatic translation is as masterful as ever, The book is a complete change of scene from all others in the series, being set in the eastern fjord region of Iceland rather than in or around its capital, Reykjavik. It also involves no contemporary murder mystery nor even, it would appear, a crime of any sort. Instead we find Erlendur spending a period of leave from his job in the capital pursuing his increasing obsession with historical disappearances including, in this case, a highly personal one. None of the regular extras -- neither Erlendur's work colleagues nor any of his somewhat dysfunctional offspring -- feature in the book at all but I suspect most readers will not miss them as the storyline here is so riveting, any distraction from its unfolding would be irritating in the extreme.

This is an essential read for those who have been following the series through the earlier volumes. The story does stand on its own but cannot be recommended to anyone with any intention of reading others in the series -- and after reading this, you will want to read the rest!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erlendur's final case, 15 Aug 2013
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Icelandic Yarn, 28 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
I love Indridasons descriptions of the Icelandic countryside aswell as the stories. I have developed a fondness for all the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snow Closes on Erlunder, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
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. I suppose his detective was always going to return to his childhood to seek again his younger brother wrenched away from him in a snow storm. Perhaps the accompanying plot of the unsolved matter of the woman who also disappeared in a storm was rather contrived and the denouement perhaps improbable. But, if you like Indridason and the gloomy, haunted Erlunder, then you won't want to miss it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Moving, 22 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
I have read them all to date and enjoyed this one the most. Although this is the ninth in the series, it really pulls together the theme that has underlay them all. Quite beautifully.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange Shores, 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Strange Shores (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries) (Kindle Edition)
Well translated- as usual Indridason leads the reader into an effectively created scenario with a sad and final view of the main character. I have read all of the previous books in the series and would recommend this one too.
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