irresistible

Journalist and critic Michael Carlson locks onto a number of “irresistible targets” in his blog of that name. Recently he reviewed Arnaldur Indridason’s Arctic Chill, the latest of the Erlender series to be translated into English. He noticed an interesting parallel to Jar City – both books are about the isolation of Iceland and its homogenous genetic pool, and even more about the isolation between individuals, even close family members. In this book, the murder victim is a mixed-race child whose mother is a Thai woman brought to Iceland by a man who needs a wife. (Hmm…. that reminds me of Karin Fossum’s The Indian Bride, another book on my enormously long to-be-read list.)

Carlson also recently reviewed John Theorin’s Echoes of the Dead at Crime Time and at his blog recounts his visit to its setting with his small son – he has family living on the island where the book is set. Evidently, the book does justice to the landscape.

I hadn’t often been there before in summer, when it is lovely, but usually in winter or thereabouts, when the ‘alvar’, the inland steppe or plain, is bleak and deserted, the way Theorin uses it to create an atmospheric setting for his slow-building suspense, a story of history and loss.

The theme is the search for a long-missing child, and just thinking about that summer made the book all that much more real to me…the Oland I know may never seem quite the same. But I recommend the book, and Oland, highly.

I owe thanks to Michael for pointing out a Danish author who was missing from my website, Anders Bodelsen –  Mange tak!

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6 thoughts on “irresistible

  1. I would definitely recommend The Indian Bride. It will not take you long and is deeply poignant. The first chapters are like a fable, or fairy story. The rest is rather, er, chilling. But very controlled and typical of Fossum’s controlled best.

    I can see I am going to have to check out this Bodelsen, with two such eminent recommendees.

  2. Karen, I found a few more books – though I can’t be certain they’re all crime fiction. That last is a young adult title:

    One Down / apa Hit and Run, Run, Run (Hændeligt uheld) Denmark 1968; UK 1970, US 1970 translated by Carolyn Bly

    The Silent Parter / apa Think of a Number (Tænk på et tal) Denmark 1968; UK 1969; US 1978 translated by David Hohnen

    Freezing Down (Frysepunktet) Denmark 1969; US 1971 translated by Joan Tate

    Straus (Straus) Denmark 1971; US 1974 translated by Nadia Christensen and Alexander Taylor

    Consider the Verdict (Bevisets stilling) Denmark 1973; US 1976 translated by Nadia Christensen

    Operation Cobra (Operation Cobra) Denmark 1975; UK 1976; US 1979 translated by Joan Tate

    Maxine – I think you’ve bumped The Indian Bride up on my list!

  3. Straus is in: “There is a time in some men’s lives when an accumulation of failures–in work, marriage, ambition–develops into one extreme crisis. It is a time of extreme reactions–when nothing less than murder may be the final answer.”

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