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Strange Shores: An Inspector Erlendur Novel

by Arnaldur Indridason

Publishers Weekly A chance meeting on the moors with a garrulous old farmer rekindles Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson's interest in a decades-old missing-person case in Indridason's moody novel featuring the Reykjavik policeman, the ninth to be published in the U.S. (after 2013's Black Skies). A young woman named Matthildur appears to have vanished while trying to cross the Hraevarskord Pass during a sudden whiteout, similar to one that swallowed up Erlendur's younger brother, Bergur, when they were boys. Erlendur finds a surprising number of leads and even evidence at this late date, increasingly suggesting that Matthildur was murdered. But the brooding loner can't help circling back to his brother while he camps out in the ruins of their family's home, especially as the frigid nights transport him into an almost hallucinatory state. Solid procedural combines with Icelandic ghost story for a chilling tale of the extremes to which people can be pushed in an unforgiving place. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal While on leave in Iceland's remote eastern fjords, Erlander is drawn into a complex missing person's cold case that occurred in conditions strikingly similar to his brother's disappearance years ago. The dour Erlander's resolute detection skills and unusual crime-solving methodology are fully engaged as he confronts eerie mysteries and ghosts from the past. VERDICT This chilling psychological thriller from an award-winning author is a treat for series fans but also works well on its own. (LJ 6/15/14) Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Inspector Erlendur is solo in this ninth series installment. The two Erlendur trademarks, his fascination with people disappearing in the Icelandic moors (primed by his brother Bergur's disappearance during a blizzard when Bergur was eight and Erlendur ten) and unsolved cold cases, are in full force. Camping out in the dilapidated remains of his childhood home, Erlendur has un-settling dreams of Bergur's disappearance. He is reminded by a local hunter of a young woman who, after purportedly setting off through the mountains to visit her sister in January 1942, disappeared when a blinding snowstorm materialized. Erlendur's curiosity gets the better of him, and he begins questioning the woman's few remaining relatives and longtime local residents, dredging up memories that to most of those involved are better left buried. But Erlendur is nothing if not persistent. VERDICT Having been absent in Indridason's previous two mysteries (Outrage; Black Skies), Erlendur's return will thrill fans. His doggedness and unconventional methods are in rare form. While series veterans get more insight on Bergur's disappearance, no knowledge of the backstory is required for full enjoyment of this satisfying mystery.-Edward Goldberg, Syosset P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus An Icelandic police detective probes a decades-old disappearance that resonates with a haunting incident from his own past. Inspector Erlendur ventures to Urdarklettur, near the remote fjords of his country, to investigate the probable murder of Matthildur, a young woman whose disappearance several decades earlier was at first clouded by a contemporary tragedy involving some British sailors. While Erlendur's bona fides are genuine, his timing and intent seem murky. Is this case official or personal? Indeed, he was remarkably absent from Indridason's previous series entry (Black Skies, 2013, etc.). Painful flashbacks to Erlendur's childhood fill in details about the disappearance of his brother Bergur in the middle of a blizzard, a tragedy that has continued to haunt him. The villagers think Matthildur was murdered by her husband, Jakob, who was never arrested. Erlendur's main source of information is Ezra, an elderly farmer who was close to both husband and wife. When Jakob and a companion were drowned during a gale not long after Matthildur's disappearance, almost nobody shed a tear. Ezra reveals layer upon layer of the real story to his new confidant Erlendur, beginning with Jakob's affair with Matthildur's sister Ingunn and her subsequent pregnancy. Remains will be unearthed and many more developments in the mystery peeled away like the layers of an onion. Perhaps more important, Erlendur also reaches a kind of peace concerning his brother. Not the tangled whodunit some readers might expect, but a beautifully written psychological thriller with a compelling Everyman at its core. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list *Starred Review* Erlendur, the doleful Reykjavik police inspector (Outrage, 2012), has taken leave from his job to return to Iceland's remote Eastern Fjords. He is camping very rough in the collapsing remains of the farmhouse his family abandoned after his younger brother, Bergur, disappeared in a savage blizzard that Erlendur barely survived. Walking the moors, Erlendur meets an old man named Boas who took part in the search for Bergur, and the voluble Boas tells him of another disappearance. A woman named Matthildur set out for her mother's house in 1942 and disappeared in another blizzard. Erlendur begins to visit surviving people who knew Matthildur, and he ultimately stitches together a tale of lies, betrayals, and murder. But all the while, it is Bergur's disappearance and Erlendur's guilt that obsesses him. His interviews with people who knew Matthildur, all in their eighties and nineties, recall the voices of Norse sagas: pithy, concise, and very matter-of-fact about everything, including their own impending deaths. These encounters are brilliantly written, and the Matthildur case is wonderfully convoluted. The dour detective courts hypothermia each night in the farmhouse, has ethereal encounters with an augur from his youth, and finds some respite from his lifelong grief. Strange Shores reads as if it could be the last entry in the Erlendur cycle. If so, it's a superb end to a haunting series.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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