Author: Arnauldur Indridason
Blurb: One cold autumn night, a woman is found hanging from a beam at her holiday cottage. At first sight, it appears like a straightforward case of suicide; Maria had never recovered from the death of her mother two years previously and she had a history of depression. But then the friend who found her body approaches Detective Erlendur with a tape of a séance that Maria attended before her death and his curiosity is aroused. Driven by a need to find answers, Erlendur begins an unofficial investigation into Maria’s death.
My Thoughts: Set in Iceland this is the sixth book in the ‘Reykjavik Murder Mysteries’ series and they just keep on getting better. Even though Detective Erlendur is the main ‘investigator’ HYPOTHERMIA is not a police procedural. This is because the investigation is more of a personal quest; something about the open/shut suicide case is not quite right so Erlendur starts poking around in the victim’s past. He has to tread carefully as the investigation is not official and he is stepping over some serious lines to follow the trail. At the same time Erlendur is reminded of an unsolved missing person’s case he once worked on some thirty years previously. Every year the father drops by to see if there have been any fresh leads to his son’s disappearance, but now the father is not expected to live much longer and dearly wants closure. A few weeks after the boy was reported missing a girl was reported missing as well, the two cases have never been linked but Erlendur now wonders if they should have been linked and some sort of serial killer might have been at work, so he adds them to his quest. These multiple plot threads are magnificently handled as they cross each other without ever seeming to join together. As the backdrop to the story more of Erlendur’s personal history is revealed. We learn more about the night his brother went missing in a snow storm and the reader gets a front seat look at a meeting between Erlendur and his ex-wife as we learn more about what happened to their relationship. Author Arnauldur Indridason is a sheer genius at writing. He takes an unlovable character, Erlendur, and makes you genuinely feel for him, care for him and want to learn more about him. His writing is minimalist, not one word is superfluous to the story, it almost empty of emotion and yet with a few choice words Indridason managed to evoke huge emotions in this reader. If you haven’t started this series yet I really recommend that you do so.
Rating: A – Excellent. I could not put it down
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