Wednesday, 27 April 2016

"Hypothermia" and "Strange Shores" by Arnaldur Indridason. Two books that must be read together

Subzero temperatures, Arctic storms, frozen fjords - great poolside reading on a sweltering afternoon.

This time Erlendur investigates suicide, sex and seances. Another cold case (sorry) that stirs up memories of his 8 year old brother's death in the snowstorm. Like a recurring nightmare, he returns to the ordeal and its aftermath. He relives painful memories of childhood summers in the East Fjords.
I defy the reader not to be moved by the final chapter.

"I'm interested in stories about ordeals in the wilderness" intones the obsessed Inspector Erlendur in the follow up book, "Strange Shores". This novel should be read in conjunction with "Hypothermia" as you find out more details about Erlendur's obsession and subsequent guilt about his brother's tragedy.
"Strange Shores" is all about guilt, graves and grief. The haunted Erlendur returns to his birthplace, Bakkasel, to discover how a young woman, Matthildur, disappeared in the late 1940's. I love the way this 'lone wolf" finds other similar characters in his investigations (the fox hunter, Boas; Matthildur's sister, Hrund and the tormented Ezra).
The latter section of "Strange Shores" includes a gristly Edgar Allan Poe-like tale. The last few chapters will knock your socks off.
I am now a convert to this guy's writing. Goodbye, Jo Nesbo.

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