Synopses & Reviews
Arnaldur Indridason took the international crime fiction scene by storm after winning England's CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave. Now, with the highly anticipated Voices, this world-class sensation treats American readers to another extraordinary Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson thriller.
The Christmas rush is at its peak in a grand Reykjavík hotel when Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is called in to investigate a murder. The hotel Santa has been stabbed, and Erlendur and his detective colleagues have no shortage of suspects between hotel staff and the international travelers staying for the holidays.
But then a shocking secret surfaces. As Christmas Day approaches, Erlendur must deal with his difficult daughter, pursue a possible romantic interest, and untangle a long-buried web of malice and greed to find the murderer.
One of Indridason's most accomplished works to date, Voices is sure to win him a multitude of new American suspense fans.
Inspector Erlendur Returns In this Award-winning International Bestseller.
The Christmas rush is at its peak in a grand Reykjavík hotel when Inspector Erlendur is called in to investigate a murder. The hotel Santa has been stabbed to death, and Erlendur and his fellow detectives find no shortage of suspects between the hotel staff and the international travelers staying for the holidays. As Christmas Day approaches, Erlendur must deal with his difficult daughter, pursue a possible romantic interest, and untangle a long-buried web of malice and greed to find the murderer. Voices is a brutal, soulful noir from the chilly shores of Iceland.
The Christmas rush is at its peak in a grand Reykjavík hotel when Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is called in to investigate a murder. The hotel Santa has been stabbed....
The CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning author of "Silence of the Grave" returns with the highly anticipated "Voices," in which Indridason treats fans to another extraordinary Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson thriller.
The first Inspector Sejer novel by Norway's Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum
“No one can thoroughly chill the blood the way Karin Fossum can.” —Los Angeles Times
Eva Magnus and her daughter are out walking by the river when a man’s body floats to the water’s surface. Eva goes to call the police, but when she reaches the phone, she dials another number altogether.
The police find the body anyway. Inspector Sejer and his team quickly determine that the man, Egil, died in a violent attack. But Egil has been missing for months and the trail to his killer is cold. It’s as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute, found dead just before Egil went missing. Sejer sets to work piecing together these two impossible cases; it's not long before he realizes that they aren’t as separate as they previously seemed.
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 film reviewer. He won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel for both Jar City and Silence of the Grave, and in 2005 Silence of the Grave also won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of the year. Indridason lives in Iceland, and he and J. K. Rowling are the only authors to simultaneously hold the top three spots on the Icelandic bestseller list. His next novel in the series is forthcoming soon from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur.
Reading Group Guide
1. Crimes happen everywhere, but police work can be very different from country to country. What do you think of the methods employed by Erlendur, as compared to those you may have seen on television or in books that are set in the United States, or elsewhere? Is it easier to catch criminals in Reykjavik than it is in New York or Los Angeles? Consider, for example, the fact that Erlendur entertains the idea of shutting down and sequestering everyone in the hotel.
2. Erlendur is very concerned about his privacy. Throughout the book, different people in his life pry into his personal affairs, and he continually tells them to mind their own business. Yet Erlendur doesnt seem to be as touchy when it comes to other peoples privacy. For example, he tells his colleague Sigudur Oli to back off, while at the same time asking him very private questions about trying to get his wife pregnant. Why does Erlendur do this? Is he always a detective, even with his friends? What does this say about his particular vulnerabilities?
3. Erlendur reads accounts of deaths. We learn that this is related to the tragic loss of his brother when he was a child. But why does he do this when it is too painful to remember what happened? Does it comfort him, or is he torturing himself? Do you think this childhood incident may have influenced Erlendur to become a detective?
4. When Erlendur lets his former boss Marion Briem take part in the case, Marion thanks him for "handing him some morsels." Why is he so thankful to be included in the case even though hes retired? Why does Erlendur give in and let Marion take part even though he gets on Erlendurs nerves? Is it out of pity, or does Erlendur worry about what hes going to be like when he gets old himself?
5. Why is Erlendur so stirred by Gudlaugurs story, and why is he unable to go home? Does he worry that he himself is like Gudlaugur, a loner and failure? Or does Erlendur identify Gudlaugur as a child with his lost brother? Might Erlendur see Gudlauger as both himself and as his lost brother?
6. What do you think is the connection between: the battered child which Elinbourg is handling, Erlendurs childhood experience, and the present case? Is the connection only in Erlendurs mind? Or do we naturally make connections like this? Does Erlendur only understand life in terms of "cases?"
7. Late in the novel, Erlendur unearths a lie in Stefanias story. We are told that there is nothing more valuable to a criminal investigation than discovering a lie. Why? Wouldnt it be more useful if everyone told the truth? How do lies, once they are uncovered, move a case forward?
8. Investigator Erlendur is the central character in the story. Yet his story is not told through his own voice, in the first-person narrative, but rather in the third-person narrative. Why do you think Indridason chose not to have Erlendur tell the story in his own voice? How might it change the story if Erlendur were recounting everything in his own words? Would he be a less reliable narrator?
9. What do you think of Erlendurs tactics? With some people he is gentle, with others he is inquisitive, and at times he can be aggressive in his interrogations. Why do you think that he uses different tactics like this? How does he decide where and when to be more aggressive? If you were conducting the investigation, would you have been more or less aggressive than Erlendur?
10. Why do you think Erlendur wanted to tell Valgerdur, the woman who took the saliva samples, about what happened with his brother when he had never told anyone? Do you think that he just needs to get it off his chest and its easier to tell a stranger? Or do you think that he really likes Valgerdur, and he wants to try to make a new start? Do you think there might be a future between him and Valgerdur?
11. When Eva Lind presses Erlendur for answers about why he wasnt there for her in her childhood, Erlendur blurts out: "People talk too much...People should shut up more often. Then they wouldnt give themselves away so much." What do you think about this? Does this reveal anything about how Erlendur views himself, and how he looks at life? When it comes to how he treated his family, does Erlendur view himself as a criminal?
12. Were you surprised to find out that Osp had committed the murder. Did she seem a very likely suspect when we met her in the beginning? At the end, she says she does not know why she killed him. Maybe it was for the money, maybe because of her brother, maybe her own addiction, and maybe it was because she herself had been raped and just flipped out. How responsible do you think she is for the murder? If the Englishman, Henry Wapshott had killed Gudlauger for the records, would he have seemed more guilty than Ösp, or less guilty? Do you think that Erlendur might be less inclined to blame Ösp for what happened given that she reminded him of his own daughter and her struggles?