In the High Peaks

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik Nights

Of course, all of you book lovers know the cure for being overtired, and I've been capitalizing on the reading cure. I must return to the Boston area on Sunday for an entire week again, so I expect November is going to be a Dewey Month rather than a Dewey Day.

I just finished Icelandic crime novelist Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik Nights this afternoon. I enjoyed the read. It held my interest and was entertaining. And I felt as though I was truly glimpsing Iceland in summer and Reykjavik as a city. I've always been curious about Iceland and his novels do add interesting details about the country and its people.

But (spoiler alert!) I have a criticism, an aspect of the mystery that concerned me when all details of the crimes were laid out at the end of the book. Erlendur, the main character policeman, visited the scene of the crime, the scene of two murders, multiple times in the novel. Why was it that only at the end of the novel that he finally realized he should go into the exposed steam pipeline to dig deeper and deeper for more evidence of Oddni's disappearance and Hannibal's death? After all, he discovered Oddni's earring early in the novel at the pipeline site. Why didn't he dig for more evidence then? And each time Erlendur returned to the crime site, I questioned why he didn't dig more.

So, yes, I was very disappointed by the ending because Erlendur seemed rather dense not to have realized that the crime scene needed to be totally turned over from top to bottom weeks earlier in his investigation. Of course, please note, Reykjavik nights is a prequel and Erlendur was only 28 years of age, so naturally he's not as adept a sleuth as he is when he's older in the rest of the series. In any case, yes, I enjoyed the book.

Would the element I've criticized put me off from reading another Indridason crime novel? Definitely not! His award-winning Jar City was a stupendous crime novel that both Ken and I enjoyed and I would readily read another Indridason novel.

Weather notes: We have been having unseasonably warm weather in the Adirondacks this week. I've been hiking in tee-shirts and summer hiking pants, and my golden retriever Sasha has been panting whenever we climb a big hill. It cools way down at night but by mid-morning it's in the 60s.  Tomorrow will we hit 67 degrees? I think I'll hike with Sasha early in the morning.


  1. I haven't read anything by him but I'll definitely look for Jar City now. Both of our 'boys' have been to Iceland, and we really fancy going too, but I'm not keen on flying. I suppose we could go on a cruise, but I don't much like the idea of that. I need a Star Trek transporter.

  2. You know, in the early 1990s, around 1991, there was a spell when there were very, very cheap flights from Boston to Reykjavik for 4-5 day long weekend trips. I can tell you that I came "this close" to going, because I was making good money then and could have afforded it easily. I'm sorry I didn't because now flights are prohibitively expensive. I still want a "winter swim" in the Blue Lagoon.