Sunday, November 16, 2014
Because of crime–the murder of a rapist–Elínborg was a much better main character, since one would not trust Erlendur to deal with compassion and understanding. Those are just not part of his skill set.
That said, I’m not sure that Arnaldur Indridason is particularly good at writing a female lead. Mind you, he did a good job with the story and with Elínborg’s personal life and problems, but the story didn’t feel like it was written from a female perspective. This isn’t a bad thing per se, and I doubt whether many people would notice the difference, there were just a couple of phrases or ways things were referred to that felt distinctly male.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the story, just that it didn’t truly feel as if it was written from a female point of view. (Example: I don’t know many women my age or younger who refer to 20 year-old females as girls. It’s a small thing, but it felt off.)
But I very much enjoyed seeing things from Elínborg’s point-of-view and learning more about her life. Several books ago, she had published a cook book, and I really liked seeing what cooking meant to her, and how it was an important part of her life.
And she developed an interest in cookery: she always asked for cookbooks for Christmas and birthday presents, subscribed to recipe clubs, and read cookery columns in the papers. Yet she did not necessarily want to be a chef; she just wanted to prepare food that was not inedible.
I quite liked that passage, as well as the passages that described how she used cooking as an escape from her problems at work and at home. It very much resonated with me.
All-in-all, it was an interesting change of pace, and very well done.
Published by Minotaur Books