Synopses & Reviews
introduces American readers to a new crime writer from Iceland whose work has created an international sensation. Arnaldur Indridason has been compared to such luminaries in the field as Henning Mankell, Georges Simenon, Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall; everyone agrees that here is a world-class writer.
When a lonely old man is found murdered in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girls grave. Inspector Erlendur, who heads the investigation team, discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, though not convicted, of an unsolved crime. Did the old mans past come back to haunt him?
As the team of detectives reopen this very cold case, Inspector Erlendur uncovers secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man--secrets that have been carefully guarded by many people for many years. As he follows a fascinating trail of unusual forensic evidence, Erlendur also confronts stubborn personal conflicts that reveal his own depth and complexity of character. Like all great crime fiction, Jar City is about much more than murder, and avid suspense fans are about to discover a first-rate writer who has already received rave reviews around the world.
"When a lone septuagenarian is murdered in his apartment in the Nordurmri district of Reykjavk, detective inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is called in, along with partner Sigurdur li and female colleague Elnborg. Everyone is related to everyone else in Iceland and refer to one another by first name, even formally. Erlendur is about 50, long divorced, with two kids in varying degrees of drug addiction. The victim, a man called Holberg, turns out to have been a nasty piece of work, and Erlendur is disgusted by the series of rapes Holberg apparently committed. The rapes and the deaths of a number of young women may be connected, and the search brings Erlendur to the forensic lab, whose old 'jar city,' since disbanded, held research organs. Meanwhile, Erlendur's daughter, Eva Lind, is pregnant and still using; she flits in and out of his life angrily, but may be crying out for help. Reykjavk's physicality, and the fact that crimes are relatively rare in Iceland, gives things a defamiliarizing cast. The writing, plot and resolution are nicely done, but remain fully within genre boundaries." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Winner of the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel 2002
Translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder
"Jar City is a haunting and elegant novel, and Arnaldur Indridason is a writer of astonishing gravitas and talent."
- John Lescroart, author of Nothing But the Truth
"Like a long Icelandic night, Jar City envelopes the reader in a fascinating and mesmerizing locale—and doesn't let go. No wonder Arnaldur Indridason won so many awards. He's a great storyteller, and American readers will overwhelmingly agree."
- C. J. Box, Anthony Award-winning author of Out of Range
"Classic mystery fiction, both compassionate and thrilling. Indridason is about to become one of the brightest stars in the genre's dark skies."
- John Connolly, author of Dark Hollow
"Jar City, like a good Ingmar Bergman film, brings us irresistibly into a strangely beautiful world of deep sorrows and dangerous secrets hidden in the past. Indridason's detective is, like his predecessors from Philip Marlowe to Somerset in Seven, a deeply appealing hero, intense, intelligent, moral, lonely, and very very good at his job."
- Michael Malone, author of Uncivil Seasons
"Fascinating . . . an original and puzzling mystery."
- Val McDermid, The Sunday Times (UK)
"This is strong stuff, powerfully and arrestingly written. The plot is clever, the writing has a directness and deceptive simplicity reminiscent of Simenon, and Detective Inspector Erlendur is an intriguing character whose personal problems complement rather than distract from his investigation. Here is a new voice that demands to be listened to!"
- Reginald Hill, author of Dialogues of the Dead
"Prepare yourself for transportation. To a different planet, though right here on earth. I've had the privilege of visiting Iceland, and Arnauldur Indridason captures the haunting, wondrous rhythm of that unique place in a way that will astonish you even as his plotting intrigues you."
- Jeremiah Healy, author of Turnabout and The Only Good Lawyer
"An absorbing police procedural dense with psychological pressure, haunted by past secrets. The plot is a twister, the setting unique, and Erlendur's personal life is even bleaker than the Icelandic fall. Erlendur is a cop to watch. And I will."
- Marshall Browne, author of The Eye of the Abyss
"An excellent thriller that is absolutely cool and deadly."
- Robert Gray, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)
"Now Iceland has its own Mankell."
- Holger Kreitling, Die Welt (Germany)
"Fan[s] of mystery in general and Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum can only exult."--Library Journal
"This is a dark, haunting novel, with a protagonist who searches for a murderer and finds his own humanity. The emotionally wrought ending caught me off guard and touched me in a way that few mystery novels do."--The Boston Globe
"[Erlendur is] a helluva detective."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"Jar City stresses both the otherworldliness of this faraway country and how similar its denizens are to the rest of us. . . . An excellent debut."--Baltimore Sun
"Indridason raises in a thoroughly gripping manner not just questions of paternity in a small nation, but wider issues of the use of genetic information, culminating in an ending that proves impressively moving."--Time Out London "Award-winning Iceland author Indridason makes a compelling American debut with this first in a series featuring Reykjavík police inspector Erlendur. . . . Quiet, morose, dryly witty, Erlendur makes a fine, complex companion. . . . Those who enjoy Karin Fossum, Henning Mankell, or Janwillem van de Wetering will welcome this new series."--The Portsmouth Herald
"A powerful, psychologically acute procedural drama."--Booklist
"Jar City is classic mystery fiction, both compassionate and thrilling. Indridason is about to become one of the brightest stars in the genre's dark skies."--John Connolly, author of Dark Hollow
"There's much to glean about the people of Iceland from this erudite and compelling story. . . . Jar City taps into the melancholy of Scandinavian perspective and manages to be quite thrilling, too."--Rocky Mountain News
"This careful, sparsely written book operates at a deeper level than most crime fiction: it conveys the sense of painful inevitability underlying the old stories that medieval Icelanders told through the long winter nights."--The Independent (London)
"The descriptions of Reykjavík and the surrounding area . . . are fascinating in their own right, and the plotting is riveting. . . . Detective Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is an intense and introspective protagonist."--BookPage
"The author's American debut, winner of the 2002 Nordic Crime Novel Award, is a model puzzle presented with clarity and crisp economy."--Kirkus Reviews
"An absorbing police procedural dense with psychological pressure. The plot is a twister, the setting unique, and Erlendur's personal life is even bleaker than the Icelandic fall. Erlendur is a cop to watch. And I will."--Marshall Browne, author of The Eye of the Abyss
A man is found murdered in his Reykjavik flat, and the police have no obvious leads. Delving into the dead man's past, two investigators discover that the city of Reykjavik has one or two secrets of its own, secrets it would rather keep.
From Gold Dagger Award--winning author Arnaldur Indridason comes a Reykjavík thriller introducing Inspector Erlendur
When a lonely old man is found dead in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Inspector Erlendur discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, but not convicted, of an unsolved crime, a rape. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man.
An international sensation, the Inspector Erlendur series has sold more than two million copies worldwide.
About the Author
Arnaldur Indridason was born in 1961. He worked at an Icelandic newspaper, first as a journalist and then for many years as a reviewer. He won the Nordic Crime Novel Award for Jar City and the following year won again for its sequel, Silence of the Grave, winner of the 2005 CWA Gold Dagger Award. Jar City is his first novel to be translated into English.