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Thursday, 19 September 2013

‘Outrage’ By Arnaldur Indridason



Translated by Anna Yates
Published by Picador,
August 27, 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-250-03774-9


At the outset of this newest book by Icelandic author Indridason, the eighth in the series available in English translation, a young man picks up a woman in a bar, slips some rohypnol into her drink and brings her back to his home in an historic area of Reykjavik.  When two days later the police are called to the scene, the body found lying in a pool of blood on the floor is not that of the woman, but the young man who lived there, his throat having been slashed.  The only clues are a woman’s shawl, and a strange smell that lingers in the air.

In this latest entry in the series, Detective Elinborg has the primary role, while her colleagues Erlendur and Sigurdur Oli take on lesser roles, the former only by reference in the early and late parts of the book [referred to as “a failure of a father,” an “irascible loner,” and “an insightful detective” whom Elinborg admires but does not necessarily like].  As the book opens he has apparently taken a leave of absence to travel to the East Fjords, where he had lived as a young boy.  Oli has only a secondary role in the present investigations, with Elinborg taking the lead.

As always, Elinborg has conflicts between her job and her role as a wife and mother, and worries that she is not devoting enough time to her family.  The older of her two sons, 16 years old and increasingly distant, has been a cause of concern lately, and she “sometimes worried about the relationships between parents and their children,” a theme which recurs throughout the book.  In the course of her investigation, Elinborg is drawn into an old case, one involving the disappearance of a 19-year-old girl six years prior, and the possibility that the two cases are tied together.

Having been steadily absorbing reading for more than the first half of the book, it suddenly becomes more intriguing as the plot turns more complex, and maintains that level till the denouement.  This is a powerful book, consistent with all this author’s prior work, and is highly recommended.
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Reviewer: Gloria Feit
Arnaldur Indridason was born in 1961, the son of an Icelandic author. He worked for many years as a journalist and critic for an Icelandic newspaper, before he began writing novels. He is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger.  At one week in the summer of 2003, his crime novels occupied the top five spots in the Icelandic bestseller list.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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