Reykjavik Nights

by

Marilyn Stasio’s column “Crime” in the Sunday NYT’s 9781250048424_p0_v4_s114x166always offers great reviews of new mysteries.  Recently, she reviewed a new Nordic crime fiction novel by Arnaldur Indridason.  She characterizes his novels as being less gruesome than many other Scandinavian mystery writers.

This new novel is a prequel to Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson’s previous outing.  Set in 1974 during Iceland’s 1,100 anniversary of settlement, the book features Sveinsson’s as a rookie cop.  On his rounds he meets Hannibal a homeless tramp, who is later found dead.  Having often locked him up on drunk-and-disorderly charges, he came to know the man’s history.  A year after his death, Erlendur comes to the conclusion that Hannibal’s death was murder.

Erlendur becomes a champion of Reykjavik’s lost souls after his investigation in the tragic death of Hannibal.  An unusual setting and a main character who is a compassionate policeman will attract many mystery readers.

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