Random House, 2011 (2011)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, the seventh (following
) in the excellent
Reykjavik Murder Mystery
series, is quite different from its predecessors in that complex, committed, highly intuitive Reykjavik Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is missing in action throughout (last seen on his way to the East Fjords).
his time, Erlendur's competent colleague Elinborg investigates the murder of a young man, whose throat was cut and who had Rohypnol (the date rape drug) in his possession. The only evidence at the scene is a beautiful purple shawl smelling of tandoori. Was the dead man a rapist, killed by his own intended victim, or was something else going on?
s Elinborg slowly unearths clues - following the back trails of the Rohypnol and the shawl's spicy smell - she also worries about her fiercely independent and resentful teen son Valthor - her only awareness of Valthor's life and concerns comes from reading his blog. Fortunately Elinborg has a close relationship with her gifted young daughter Theodora, whose comments on the investigation are often insightful.
t's a troubling case about which Elinborg confides to Sigurdor Oli, '
Every single person I speak to seems to be a viable suspect.
' She has doubts even after one of them admits to the crime, and her search for the truth takes Elinborg to a remote village where '
people keep their secrets, to the grave and beyond.
hough I missed Erlendur Sveinsson in
, it provided a nice change of pace and I enjoyed getting to know Elinborg and her family better. As always, Arnaldur Indrišason delivers a subtle mystery in all the shades of grey, as well as steadily building suspense about Erlendur's fate and for the next entry in this outstanding series. It had better come soon!
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