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Hypothermia

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hypothermia (2007/009) Arnaldur Indridason translated by Victoria Cribb

When a woman arrives at her friend’s lake house, she is horrified to discover her friend’s body hanging from the rafters. The dead woman had been seriously grieving since the death of her mother, and everything points to suicide, except that something doesn’t seem quite right.

An old man stops by Erlendur’s office on the anniversary of his son’s disappearance decades earlier, to see if there were any changes in the case, and to say goodbye, for he is dying.

‘Is there any news of our case?’ the old man asked, having half-emptied his cup. ‘Has anything new emerged?’

‘No, I’m afraid not,’ Erlendur said, for the umpteenth time. He did not find the old man’s visits a trial. For him, the worst part was that there was little he could do for him except listen to his repeated protestations of what a dreadful thing it was about their dear boy and how could something like that happen and how could there be no news of him?

That is heartbreaking in a different way from the previous book.

‘There’s nothing malign about the spirit world,’ Andersen said. ‘We all have our ghosts. You not least.’

‘Me?’ Erlendur said. Andersen nodded. ‘A whole crowd,’ he said. ‘But don’t worry. Keep looking. You’ll find them.’

‘You mean him,’ Erlendur said.

‘No,’ Andersen said, contradicting him and standing up. ‘I mean them.’

First, this is the first book where I kept giggling over the names of things. I didn’t notice this is previous books, but this book opened with this:

Uxahryggir and north over the Kaldidalur mountain road. She had often taken that route herself. It was a beautiful drive down the Lundarreykjadalur valley to Borgarfjördur fjord. The memory of a lovely summer’s day once spent at Lake Sandkluftavatn came back to her.

That really seems as if someone mashed down on the keyboard to create those names. The fact that they are real just is awesome.

As with previous books, we slowly learn more about Erlendur’s past. Giving us glimpses as to perhaps how he became as he is.

It was getting dark, a reminder that winter would soon be here after the short, wet summer. Erlendur felt no dread at the thought. He had never dreaded the winter as so many did, not like those who counted the hours until the days would start to lengthen again. He had never regarded winter as his enemy. Time seemed to slow down in the cold and darkness, enfolding him in peaceful gloom.

Interesting terms:
Zimmer frame
brennivín
Dagobert
Dósótheus

I actually prefer the secondary story of the two missing youths to the primary story of the suicide. Not that it’s not an interesting mystery, but I just didn’t think it quite as good as the secondary story.
Rating: 7/10

Published by Minotaur Books

Categories: Mystery, Police, Re-Read, Translated     Comments (0)    



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