Reykjavik Nights – Iceland – Arnaldur Indridason

bookThink you know Inspector Erlendur well? This book takes you back to his early days in the traffic department and how he became the man we know today.

Story in a nutshell 

Inspector Erlendur Sveinnson, a veteran detective with the Reykjavik police was left in rather  precarious circumstances, so this book returns to the young man in 1974 when he was still ‘ on nights’ as a patrol officer in the traffic department.

The old Erlendur of today however was the ever inquisitive man back then too for when a homeless man dies in a small pool of water, he, unlike others on his team, doesn’t put this down to too much alcohol or ‘ just one of those things’. He thinks more is at stake so he investigates further. What he finds and how he finds it takes him in new directions.

An interesting look back at the Erlendur we think we know. Turns out his early experiences have really given us a  wider picture with many more layers than we have now.

Place and setting

Hvassaleit /Miklabruat/Kringlumyri - where the three boys live who find the dead man. Kringlumyri where the man is found Hlidar - Erlendur’s own suburb where he grew up hverfisgata - where the police station is bustadir - where Erlendur is called to a disturbance SKulgata - the seafront near the police station and the flat topped mass of Mount Esja where Erlendur likes to walk and think Tjornin - the little lake in the centre of town where Erlendur likes to think Nauthólsvík. - where there is a geothermal beach
Hvassaleit /Miklabruat/Kringlumyri – where the three boys live who find the dead man. Kringlumyri where the man is found
Hlidar – Erlendur’s own suburb where he grew up
hverfisgata – where the police station is

Skulagata – the seafront near the police station and the flat topped mass of Mount Esja where Erlendur likes to walk and think
Tjornin – the little lake in the centre of town where Erlendur likes to think

The book is a slow start plot wise but there’s a good reason for this as we learn a lot about the Reykjavik of the 1970s. this is not the side of the city that you will have seen before and much of what you read here is like literally stepping back into a city that at that time was increasing commercialism, technology and foreign travel.

Location is evoked to show how Erlendur spends his time and the fact he is as such a loner here as in later books –

“Erlender walked over to Kringlumýri . It was not the first time his feet had led him in that direction. With little to occupy him outside work, he too k pleasure n wandering the street on fine summer evenings, round Tjörnin, the small lake in the centre of town; through the west end and out to the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, or south along the shores of Skerjafjordur  to the cove at Nauthólsvík.”

A trail in the making if we say so ourselves. Might not want to join the Icelandic touring club as he does but trekking to the hot springs at Landmannalaugar sounds better to us than it did to him.

Good to see more of where Erlendur grew up and about his early school days too. His wishful thinking when looking at his own school paints a picture of a man with regrets and with a need to make his own way in life.

Advertisements

One thought on “Reykjavik Nights – Iceland – Arnaldur Indridason

  1. Pingback: Review: Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason | book'd out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s