- Hardcover: 274 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur (Oct. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312340702
- ISBN-13: 978-0312340704
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,354,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Jar City: A Reykjavik Thriller Hardcover – 1 Oct 2005
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"A chilling read" (The Times)
"Highly recommended...thoroughly gripping...impressively moving" (Time Out)
"A chilling Icelandic saga of the DNA age. This careful, sparsely-written book operates at a deeper level than most crime fiction" (Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'A fascinating window on an unfamiliar world as well as an original and puzzling mystery' - Val McDermid --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
We meet Erlendur as he is called in to investigate the apparent murder of an elderly man in Reykjavik. It doesn't take long for the police to discover that the old man was a nasty character who had been accused of rape almost 40 years ago. With little to go on, other than the possibility that it was a random break-in gone wrong, Erlendur leads his team deep into the past, to try and uncover who might have had a motive for killing the old man. The further they dig, the more nasty secrets they uncover, and the more they must engage in very uncomfortable interviews that dredge up hidden pain. The plot and solution hinge on an aspect of Icelandic society that is rather unique, and it's nice to see the author taking advantage of this to good effect. Another subplot (which is rather extraneous) involves a runaway bride, and meanwhile, Erlendur must also try to deal with his drug addict daughter who flits in and out of his life.Read more ›
It's not quite of the Mankell class, (then, what is), but Jar City (the title does become clear), is a very good crime novel indeed. It seems clear to me that, right now, the place to look for excellent crime fiction is Europe, for several reasons. One is simply the sense of freshness there is to it all, and the insight into other cultures. Another is the fact that almost all fiction from the continent (or Iceland!) is notably free of clichés of any sort; at least clichés that are held in the English crime writing world. Again, that's all true of this excellent novel, which centres around the investigation into the murder of an elderly man in his Reykjavik flat. He had almost no friends (one of them is in prison, the other disappeared 25 years ago), and he himself was accused of rape many years ago, though the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Although he was guilty.Read more ›
I have no problems with the plot. The story is very well told and remains a mystery until the very end. It also manages to weave in some very controversial issues that were very current at the time of writing in Iceland. However, a good plot alone does not make a novel.
I have two main criticisms of Jar City. Firstly, that there is not much in the way of landscape descriptions. A lot of people read Scandinavian crime thrillers as they are cut from a different cloth from those written in the UK and add an element of the unknown. I got none of this in Jar City, for the most part it could have been a detective novel written in Edinburgh or Oxford. Secondly, I felt that the characterisation was very poor and as a result don't know very much about them.
Overall, a very good plot that is let down by some poor characterisation and lack of description of place.
A book I read in one go, a skillful mixture of a detective novel and literature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved it... to begin with, but it seemed to bog down a bit and I found myself losing interest in the latter stages. Read morePublished 1 month ago by weird nerd
It wasn't easy to find this book in Greek so when I finally found and read it I was excited and very happy! Read morePublished 2 months ago by nassia pavlou
Reads like a badly written television crime drama. I bought it when travelling in Iceland because I wanted to read some local fiction. Read morePublished 4 months ago by George
It took me some time to get into this book. I don't feel I know much about the characters but maybe that will become clearer in the next in the series. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Icelandic murder mysteries seem to need to explain what makes them peculiarly Icelandic. It's as though it's a parallel universePublished 6 months ago by Mrs Janet S Howard
I don't like to be disparaging of an author's work because he/she has sweated to bring the words to the page, but I couldn't warm to this at all. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Neil Hardie
Good light read. Interesting characters and a good storyPublished 10 months ago by Elizabeth Garsten