Elinborg is a typical Reykjavik lady detective. With one failed marriage behind her she lives with her partner, Teddi, and their three children (eldest, a boy, is on the internet all the time and suffering teenage angst, youngest, a girl, is very gifted) whom she hardly ever sees because she works too hard. She has written a cook book.
Every detail of her life is told to us in the stark prose of this latest exponent of Scandinavian noire.
In fact Indridason doesn't believe in the 'show, don't tell' principle of fiction. His prose is simple, flat and sterile. I have no idea what Elinborg looked like because the author doesn't really do description. The victim dresses in "black jeans, white shirt and a comfortable jacket"; neither description nor character are allowed to get in the way of the plot.
Compared to this book, Agatha Christie's characters are living, breathing and multi-dimensional.
It is a pleasant enough yarn. It rattles on. There is not the sense of clues being carefully dropped into the prose, each revelation is expected as it comes.
I was most interested in this book because I have been to both Reykjavik and Akranes but I think I might write with more local flavour having known Iceland for a whole five days.
Potboiler. September 2012; 386 pages
- Having reviewed over 1100 books on this blog, I have now written one myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. It is available on Kindle through Amazon. Read it and find out whether this critic can write. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57