Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Recent Nordic Mysteries in Print and Television, Part I: Iceland

 This review that originally appeared in Critics at Large is reproduced on this site because crime involves crossing a dark line that potentially can result in the loss of one's humanity

A scene from the Icelandic television series Trapped, currently streaming on Netflix.

Arnaldur Indridason is one of the most acclaimed Icelandic writers of police procedurals for his novels about Detective Erlendur, a brooding, lonely officer who is tormented by ghosts from his past: the disappearance of his younger brother, a failed marriage and two children whose lives have been scarred by drugs. Fittingly, he investigates a number of cold cases and one his best, The Draining Lake (2009), begins with a discovery of a corpse that has a bullet in his head in a lake where the water level dropped in the wake of an earthquake. Erlendur’s investigation takes him back to the time of the Cold War when bright, left-wing students would be sent from Iceland to study in the “heavenly state” of Communist East Germany. Indridason has recently decided to put the Erlendur series in a deep freeze while he pursues another project.