Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Here is my contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise.

I has to be for Indridason.

Arnaldur Indridason, the Icelandic writer, whose series of exceptional police procedurals has brought far more fictional crime to that small island nation than has ever occurred in real life.

Arnaldur Indridason, as of 2009, has written ten books featuring his enigmatic detective Erlendur of which only six have been translated into English. Bernard Scudder, the translator of the first four books sadly died in 2007, and Arctic Chill was finished by Victoria Cribb, who has since translated Hypothermia, which I haven't read yet.

I read The Silence of the Grave [winner of the CWA Gold Dagger] and Jar City back before the start of Crime Scraps, both had won the Nordic Glass Key in successive years 2002 and 2003, and at the time Indridason was the only writer to have won the award twice.
Since then of course Stieg Larsson has won in 2006 and 2008.

Indridason's Erlendur, Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg make a interesting trio of detectives. The tragedies in Erlendur's past and his present day problems play a big part in his determination to resolve cases and bring closure and justice to victim's families.

[Thanks to Ali Karim for the photograph of Arnaldur Indridason and Peter Rozovsky]


Blogger Dorte H said...

Of course it had to be Indridason! A fine post.

In fact he is my one and only ´I´ if I stick to my own procedure and use the writer´s surname.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Maxine Clarke said...

Thanks for highlighting this wonderful author, Norman. To my mind he epitomises the best of modern crime-fiction series writing, along with other superb exponents such as Michael Connelly, Peter Temple and Gunner Staalesen. The books are classics, in that they never rely on gadgets, special effects, technowizardry, etc. Yet they have a modern resonance in the issues that concern the detectives, both in the cases they are faced with and in their personal lives.

Indridason is a wonderful author and long may he continue writing. Unfortunately I have already passed on my copy of Hypothermia to another reader so cannot offer it to you, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you do get around to reading it.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Dorte are you really going to stick to the authors surname? I shall watch your posts with interest. ;o) Thanks for your comment.

Maxine thinking back Indridason was my inspiration along with S&W, and Camilleri to start Crime Scraps. I was doing my unofficial bookshop assistant trying to persuade someone looking for Mankell to try Indridason, and thought how about a blog.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Thanks for your contribution to this week's crime Fiction Alphabet Norman. Indridason was a natural choice wasn't he?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Well, let´s not cross our bridges until we get to them ;O

Reading in more than one language helps, but I may have to learn Chinese or something in a few weeks.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Your one and only 'I', Dorte? When I left a hint on FF about a Scottish author of donnish inclinations, I thought that of the meme participants you and Norman were most likely to come up with the great Michael Innes, but no one did. I rather suspect that, unless Agatha or such has recently been in the air for some reason, people's mind naturally turn to the contemporary first, and Indridason has been foremost of late.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Philip, I can see this is deplorable, but as Michael Innes´ books have not been translated into Danish, I have never come across him ´at home´.

And though I have been to Britain some times, it will have been after the height of Innes´ career. But what can I say? I am only a young, inexperienced foreigner ;)

6:22 AM  
Blogger K V Laihonen said...

Arnaldus - to revert to Icelandic usage, which never allows the use of patronym´on its own - is indeed a wonderful writer, and a great guy to boot. I just finished Hypothermia last week and rank it among the top three in the Erlendur series, together with Jar City/Tainted Blood and Silence of the Grave.
Arnaldur was not only the first writer from the Nordic countries to bag the Glass Key twice, he did it in consecutive years!

8:03 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

I see, Dorte, I see. So you are "a young, inexperienced foreigner" who wrote on FF that you read through Donna's post "...to get the sex bit." It's things like this that make me wish I were twenty years younger.:-)

But most truly, you range widely and you are wont to present the less expected, so I really thought you might know Innes and I thought you sometimes read in English. Not so?

Good God, my word verification is 'aging'. As Eric Morcambe used to say, there's no answer to that.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Risto, the point you make about Icelandic usage re names may lie at the root of my latest run-in with the idiots who catalogue books for my local library system, the worst in the history of the universe and all parallel universes. The had AI in the author catalogue as Indridason, Arnaldur, and then changed it to Arnaldur, Indridason. The other day I discovered that Yrsa Sigurdardottir is in there as just Yrsa, with no patronym at all. A check of other names revealed that anyone looking for an Icelandic author will be out of luck unless they put the first name first, as it were.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

"Aging" is what we all are. I can see that my word verification is not exactly "stringy", but near enough!

I am glad you think I range widely, and I might have come across Michael Innes (e.g. during our holiday in Scotland this summer). I have always enjoyed British crime fiction, but it is only these last ten years I have been able to afford to buy them. Until then I depended on what Danish libraries or second-hand shops could offer (not a very wide range).

1:45 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Yrsa convinced me to start reading Icelandic crime, so I'm about to plunge into Arnaldur for the first time. Will read him in Swedish to get a little closer to the Nordic thing, unless of course the translator doesn't come up to Bernard's standards... Nesbø's Swedish translator didn't thrill me, for instance. See my blog for recent pics from Stockholm if you're interested, folks. The darkest November in years, 17.5 total hours of sunshine for the MONTH! And of course it rained every day. Was it that wet in England too?

11:12 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

"Was it that wet in England too?"
You are joking Reg, it was the wettest November ever with flooding in Cumbria and Scotland. In the South West [UK not US] it seemed to rain every day even more than our usual quota.
Did you and Tiina take part in some rain making ceremony at Acoma Pueblo as every time you are in Europe it rains like crazy? ;o)

1:50 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

I promise we'll try to do better next time, and bribe the shamans at Acoma to put some sunny mojo on Europe!

12:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home