Review: Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

Arnaldur Indridason is not a typical Scandinavian crime author and Hypothermia isn’t a typical book either. He is from Iceland and this makes a big difference in terms of the settings, the atmosphere and the story lines he creates in his novels. I believe that is one of the reasons his thrillers have sold more than five million copies in over 25 countries around the world (Read our ultimate guide to the author’s work here).

Hypothermia: An Icelandic Thriller, the sixth novel in the Detective Erlendur series is a fine piece of work as previous ones.  The main hero, Detective Erlendur, is the typical literary detective character who is gifted at the job but hates the work, who refuses to do a sloppy investigation but suffers the consequences of a terrible family life. Erlendur is not only looking for the bad guys, he is trying to find peace with himself and his life.

This novel explores Erlendur’s relationship with his troubled daughter, Eva Lind. There’s a lot about ghosts and beliefs regarding the afterlife. Like always Icelandic nature is an important part of the scenes for tragedy and mayhem. In addition to personal life,  Erlendur looks into a couple of missing person cases that date back for decades. If you have read other books in the series, you know that Erlendur is obsessed with missing persons: The police procedural case starts off rather slowly and examine threes different tragedies. By the end of the novel, the three share a common thread, which in itself is interesting.

Just to give you a glimpse, in one of the cases a woman is found hanging from a beam in her summer cottage. It seems a straightforward suicide – but the fascination starts when a friend of the woman gives Erlendur a tape of a séance attended the dead woman, where she tried to communicate with her mother and learn about the world beyond. Including paranormal touches here and there always add to the intrigue and the cases in this book have in fact good elements of mystery in them.

Overall, a very enjoyable read from an author who has created a detective at the caliber of Harry Bosch or Wallander. I think this book is a 4 out of 5 stars.

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