Arctic Chill

Arctic Chill

The Reykjavik police are called on an icy January day to a garden where a body has been found: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland’s outwardly liberal, multicultural society.In this new extraordinary thriller from...

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Title:Arctic Chill
Author:Arnaldur Indriðason
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Edition Language:English

Arctic Chill Reviews

  • Jim

    After my doubts about

    , it is good to see

    concentrate on present-day Iceland, rather than an imagined East Germany in the 1960s. Like many European countries, Iceland has opened its borders to immigration, with some of the usual adverse results.

    opens with the discovery of the corpse of a ten-year-old schoolboy who has been stabbed in the stomach and left to die in the wintry streets of Reykjavik. The boy is the son of a Thai immigrant mother, wh

    After my doubts about

    , it is good to see

    concentrate on present-day Iceland, rather than an imagined East Germany in the 1960s. Like many European countries, Iceland has opened its borders to immigration, with some of the usual adverse results.

    opens with the discovery of the corpse of a ten-year-old schoolboy who has been stabbed in the stomach and left to die in the wintry streets of Reykjavik. The boy is the son of a Thai immigrant mother, who had married and subsequently divorced an Icelander. At once, there are multiple suspects, both among the teachers at the school and the students. The boys older half-brother, Niran, disappears with his mother Sunee's connivance.

    On the case is detective Erlendur Sveinsson and, under him, Sigurdur Oli and the policewoman Elinborg. The hallmark of Indridason's Erlendur series is the complex personality and haunted past of the detective himself. He himself is long divorced, with a son and daughter that have been raised by his hapless ex-wife. The daughter has a history of being a junkie, while the son works odd jobs around the country. Both are interested in their father's past, especially when, as a young boy, he was with his brother Bergur in a snowstorm. At one point, he had let his brother's hand slip away from his grasp; and he had disappeared from the face of the earth.

    A continuing character in the series is the prickly Marion Briem, Erlendur's former boss on the Reykjavik CID, who is dying alone in a hospice. He dies as Erlendur reads him a story that he had requested.

    The combination of multi-cultural problems with their attendant racism with Erlendur's existential solitude (though his desultory relationship with Valgerdur, a pathology lab technician, shows signs of continuing) gives

    a haunted quality. For instance, at book's end, Erlendur muses as he attends the interment of Marion Briem's ashes:

    Significantly, the book's inscription is the following line from the little-known Icelandic poet, Steinn Steinarr: "Am I the one who lives on, or the other, who died?"

    I recommend all of Indridason's Erlendur novels I have read so far (except, perhaps, for

    , which is not quite up to the standard of the others).

  • Ellen

    Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason.

    This is my 10th book in the Inspector Erlendur series and hoping it never ends.

    A young Thai boy is found stabbed to death in the gardens by his family's apartment. Inspector Erlendur interviews members of his family regarding the child's friends and classmates. One indication of any problems surfaces within his school. A teacher appears to hold strong prejudices against immigrants coming into Iceland from Thailand. His prejudice opinions have spilled out in h

    Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason.

    This is my 10th book in the Inspector Erlendur series and hoping it never ends.

    A young Thai boy is found stabbed to death in the gardens by his family's apartment. Inspector Erlendur interviews members of his family regarding the child's friends and classmates. One indication of any problems surfaces within his school. A teacher appears to hold strong prejudices against immigrants coming into Iceland from Thailand. His prejudice opinions have spilled out in his dealings with the students in and around the classroom.

    It was during this investigation that Erlendur's mentor, Marion Briem, lay dying of cancer in the hospital. Marion had no family to speak of and few if any friends but none that had come to pay their last respects to her. Marion's assistance in introducing Erlendur to the police force has not been forgotten by him. The Inspector finds time to spend by her bedside to discuss his latest case.

    Erlendur's grown children seem to have taken a turn for the better in growing closer to their father. His daughter, Eva Lind, and son, Sindri, are curious about the circumstances surrounding the death of the Inspector's brother. This hits a sore spot with him and he has been reluctant to have any discussions about it. Eva Lind needs to let her father know about a dream she's had regarding that tragedy.

    The cast of characters that have worked so well together in past cases-Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg are together with Erlendur interviewing possible guilty parties in this murder including delving into their pasts. It's never just one case when reading an Inspector Erlendur book. It's usually one over lapping another in a slow moving process of uncovering the truth.

  • Karen

    There are some authors who are on my buy immediately list. Some of these books I can happily hoard - waiting until just the right moment to sit and enjoy them. And there are the ones that are buy and read immediately. ARCTIC CHILL has definitely been one of those books. As soon as it arrived in the house it danced around before my eyes until I could finish what I was reading and start this one.

    And you know when you've picked up a fabulous book because you find yourself sitting in the car, readin

    There are some authors who are on my buy immediately list. Some of these books I can happily hoard - waiting until just the right moment to sit and enjoy them. And there are the ones that are buy and read immediately. ARCTIC CHILL has definitely been one of those books. As soon as it arrived in the house it danced around before my eyes until I could finish what I was reading and start this one.

    And you know when you've picked up a fabulous book because you find yourself sitting in the car, reading it - "it's no problem I can wait in the car while you run in and do ......". You don't mind missing meals, you forget your favourite TV shows and you're finding excuses to miss meetings and social events so that you can just finish this book.

    ARCTIC CHILL is also one of those unputdownable books because of the stylish way in which it scratches a number of itches - works on those points that I think make good crime fiction stand head and shoulders above many other possible reading options for me.

    There's discussion and revelations of the society in which the crime occurs. In this case there is some stark observations of the difficulties of immigration within Icelandic society - from both the immigrants and the native resident viewpoint. The portrayal of both sides of the issue was fair, and deftly done - no preaching / no overt support for one side or the other. Many of these elements have considerable echoes with issues that arise in my own country, and the reminder that intolerance, suspicion as well as acceptance can be anywhere is both timely and pointed.

    There's also one of those tremendous senses of place. Not just because Iceland is different climatically from elsewhere, but also in the way that the society itself is portrayed. Obviously it's a much smaller country than so many others, and their societal structures work differently from many that - for example - I'm used to. But the way that the Icelandic sensibility is portrayed in all of the Indridason books is revealing, without being a travelogue, too sentimental or too much of a documentary.

    There are also great individual characters. The focus switches a little around a central group of police investigators all of whom take a different prominence throughout the individual stories, and throughout all the books. The central investigator though, the wonderfully rumpled, questioning, almost quixotic Erlendur always remains the central focus of the team though. His own personal background is complicated by the disappearance of his brother as children - an event that he has never fully come to terms with - and his divorce from his wife and separation from his children. All throught their adult years Erlendur and his two children have struggled to form a relationship which works for them all, and that struggle, whilst not taking over from the investigation or the crimes in each book, adds a level of sadness and somewhat unexpectedly hope to Erlendur.

    And finally there's a good story about the death of a little boy. A child who it seems nobody could possibly have wanted dead. Unless there is a racial motive. Maybe revenge. The ultimate resolution is stark in what it says about the true nature of so much violent crime.

    These books are definitely police procedurals, but they incorporate a lot of social commentary and personal insight. As atmospheric perhaps as Henning Mankell's Wallender series, Erlendur, however, isn't Wallender and there's a very different personality at work here. If you haven't read any of Arnaldur Indridason's fabulous books, then start somewhere with the series. If you can go back to the beginning, then you'll learn about him and his team as the books progress, but each also stands alone if you can't. The books so far have been:

    * Jar City (also published as Tainted Blood)

    * Silence of the Grave

    * Voices

    * The Draining Lake

    * Arctic Chill

  • Toni Osborne

    5th book in the series starring detective Erlendur

    This crime novel is another winner and surely will become a world wide hit. As usual Indridason writes about controversial topics that are relevant in today's society. This one raised issues of immigration, multiculturalism, racism and poverty.

    The story starts when a ten-year-old boy of Thai origin is found dead, frozen to the sidewalk in a Reykjavík suburb in mid-January.

    Taking on the challenge are our recurring heroes: Detective Erlendur and hi

    5th book in the series starring detective Erlendur

    This crime novel is another winner and surely will become a world wide hit. As usual Indridason writes about controversial topics that are relevant in today's society. This one raised issues of immigration, multiculturalism, racism and poverty.

    The story starts when a ten-year-old boy of Thai origin is found dead, frozen to the sidewalk in a Reykjavík suburb in mid-January.

    Taking on the challenge are our recurring heroes: Detective Erlendur and his racy colleagues Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg. While unraveling the mystery, the writer overlaps the storyline with a second plot concerning a woman who has disappeared. This triggers a flash back for Erlendur, memories of his brother who was lost in a storm when they were young.

    To make the storyline exciting the author uses powerful images and a tight prose to weave his sub- plots. To appreciate this writer, his work should be read in chronological order in order to fully understand the relationships between his characters and the ongoing life of detective Erlendur.

    Arctic Chill is very involving and effective crime fiction. This is another novel in what has become an addictive series for me

  • Patryx

    L’Islanda nel 2005 (anno di pubblicazione del libro) solo da pochi anni (forse un decennio) si confronta con la realtà di una società multiculturale e le difficoltà, come in tutti gli altri paesi, non sono poche. La lingua islandese, ad esempio, ha peculiarità proprie che la rendono diversa dalla maggior parte delle altre, sopra

    L’Islanda nel 2005 (anno di pubblicazione del libro) solo da pochi anni (forse un decennio) si confronta con la realtà di una società multiculturale e le difficoltà, come in tutti gli altri paesi, non sono poche. La lingua islandese, ad esempio, ha peculiarità proprie che la rendono diversa dalla maggior parte delle altre, soprattutto da quelle asiatiche: poiché la maggioranza degli immigrati proviene dal sud-est asiatico (Filippine, Thailandia, Vietnam), la questione non è irrilevante soprattutto per le ripercussioni importanti sui bambini che frequentano le scuole primarie. Se poi si pensa che è stata istituita una commissione islandese con il compito di coniare nuovi termini per impedire che parole straniere si inseriscano nel vocabolario (per esempio, la parola islandese per “Internet” è

    che letteralmente significa “modo intrecciato”), si ha una misura di quanto la società islandese sia poco propensa al

    culturale. A me sembra abbastanza comprensibile perché l’Islanda ha vissuto abbastanza isolata e nel corso della sua storia non ha avuto molte occasioni per confrontarsi con altre culture; d’altro canto mi immedesimo nei nuovi arrivati e immagino le difficoltà che ostacolano un maggiore inserimento nella vita sociale del paese.

    Erlendur si trova a indagare sull’omicidio di un bambino thailandese e, di conseguenza, a scontrarsi con pregiudizi razziali (da entrambe le parti coinvolte) che complicano le indagini, ma la squadra composta dal nostro eroe e dai suoi due colleghi (Sigurður Óli ed Elinborg) riesce a districarsi tra tutte le difficoltà. In questo romanzo, come già nel precedente, iniziano a emergere anche le storie personali dei due collaboratori di Erlendur: le informazioni, sempre centellinate dall’autore, aumentano l’interesse del lettore (o almeno è quello che succede a me) e diventa difficile non iniziare immediatamente il libro successivo della serie non appena arrivati all’ultima pagina.

  • Larissa

    With the Iceland Noir conference coming up in November, now seemed as good a time as any to read another Erlendur novel, the first I've picked up since

    , maybe six years ago. I wasn't overwhelmed by

    , I will admit, but I really liked Erlendur as a detective, so such a long pause in the series does feel a bit strange to me. And for reasons I really can't remember, if I had them in the first place, I skipped over the next title in the series,

    and went for this one ins

    With the Iceland Noir conference coming up in November, now seemed as good a time as any to read another Erlendur novel, the first I've picked up since

    , maybe six years ago. I wasn't overwhelmed by

    , I will admit, but I really liked Erlendur as a detective, so such a long pause in the series does feel a bit strange to me. And for reasons I really can't remember, if I had them in the first place, I skipped over the next title in the series,

    and went for this one instead. So, starting it, I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't remember enough of the detective's back story to follow that continuing plot line. As it turns out, I needn't have worried on the latter point, as the back story plot picks up in a new spot, but with plenty of reminders to help old readers remember, and new readers catch up.

    There are an enjoyable number of intertwining circumstances and stories in this installment: Erlendur's ordeal losing his brother in a snowstorm when he was a child dovetails with the murder of a Thai child whose older brother then feels responsible for not protecting him better. Additionally, there is an ongoing missing persons case and a possible child abuse case which loom on the sidelines, effecting Erlendur's general mood and response to the case as it unfolds. Not to mention other painful life-filler, such as Sigurður Olí's ambivalence about adopting a child now that it has been determined that he and his partner can't have their own child, and Marion Briem's death.

    This is also the first crime novel set in Iceland that I have read after moving here, and it is certainly interesting to read about Reykjavík and know the streets which are being mentioned, the shops, and the statues. It adds one more layer of verisimilitude.

    The racial tension in the novel is presented with nuance and accuracy, I think, although I did find myself bristling at the regular use of the word "colored" to refer to Icelanders of non-white ethnicities, specifically Thai people. I have been asking around, but still am not totally sure if this is just a direct translation of a regularly used Icelandic term, or a bit of an anachronism in the English. I'm interested enough that I just might try and pick up the Icelandic version for comparison.

  • Hasan Mohammed

    إثرَ سقوط أحد أبناء الجاليات الأجنبية (الجالية التايلندية)، صريعاً مقتولاً سابحاً في بركةٍ من دمه الذي نزفه، يهرع المحققّون لكشف ملابسات القضية للوقوف على الفاعل وخلفيات الجريمة.

    باعتقادي، أراد الكاتب أن أن يُسلّط الضوء على أوضاع الجاليات الأجنبية في أيسلندا، والذين يُسمّونهم بـ (المهاجرين). لكن، بدا لي بأنه (الكاتب) كمن يسير في حقل ألغام، لا يدري متى يخطو خطوةً واحدة تكلِّفه حياته، فهو يشير إلى أوضاع (المهاجرين) بإشارات هامشية وقليلة جداً، ربما لحساسية الموضوع لِما له من صِلة بإثارة التمييز العِ

    إثرَ سقوط أحد أبناء الجاليات الأجنبية (الجالية التايلندية)، صريعاً مقتولاً سابحاً في بركةٍ من دمه الذي نزفه، يهرع المحققّون لكشف ملابسات القضية للوقوف على الفاعل وخلفيات الجريمة.

    باعتقادي، أراد الكاتب أن أن يُسلّط الضوء على أوضاع الجاليات الأجنبية في أيسلندا، والذين يُسمّونهم بـ (المهاجرين). لكن، بدا لي بأنه (الكاتب) كمن يسير في حقل ألغام، لا يدري متى يخطو خطوةً واحدة تكلِّفه حياته، فهو يشير إلى أوضاع (المهاجرين) بإشارات هامشية وقليلة جداً، ربما لحساسية الموضوع لِما له من صِلة بإثارة التمييز العِرقْي.

    قشعريرة، لم أفهم سبب اختيار الكاتب لهذا الأسم. هل لأن الضحية هو طفل لم يتجاوز العاشرة؟!!! فبراء الطفولة لها قداسة وحرمة لا يختلف عليها إثنان، فأيُّ قلبٍ لا يتوجّع لمصرع طفلٍ في حادث، كيف إذا كان مقتولاً!

    أم لأن الموضوع يلامس التمييز العِرقي والعنصري بين البشر؟!!!

    عموماً، هذه الرواية، هي أقل روايات أرنالدور أندريداسون متعةً وتشويقاً وإثارة.

  • Sarah ~

    قشعريرة - أرنالدور أندريداسون

    أكثر ما أحبه في روايات الإيسلندي أرنالدور أندريداسون

    هو السلاسة .. وهذه الرواية لم تختلف عن سابقاتها ..

    يقتل طفل من أب آيسلندي وأم تايلندية طعنًا بعد خروجه من المدرسة وتجد الشرطة جثته في العراء .

    يبدأ محققنا الشهير ذو الماضي المرير ارلندور القضية بدون فرضيات لكن التمييز ضد المهاجرين ومعاملتهم بعنصرية من قبل البعض وتركيز وسائل الإعلام على أنّ الفتى كان من أصول غير آيسلندية كل هذا يفرض على القضية أن تنحى مناحي أخرى .

    بسلاسة كما ذكرت سابقًا نتنقل بين كل من لهم علاقة بالق

    قشعريرة - أرنالدور أندريداسون

    أكثر ما أحبه في روايات الإيسلندي أرنالدور أندريداسون

    هو السلاسة .. وهذه الرواية لم تختلف عن سابقاتها ..

    يقتل طفل من أب آيسلندي وأم تايلندية طعنًا بعد خروجه من المدرسة وتجد الشرطة جثته في العراء .

    يبدأ محققنا الشهير ذو الماضي المرير ارلندور القضية بدون فرضيات لكن التمييز ضد المهاجرين ومعاملتهم بعنصرية من قبل البعض وتركيز وسائل الإعلام على أنّ الفتى كان من أصول غير آيسلندية كل هذا يفرض على القضية أن تنحى مناحي أخرى .

    بسلاسة كما ذكرت سابقًا نتنقل بين كل من لهم علاقة بالقضية، وبشكل شامل .

    في النهاية عبثية الحياة والموت تسيطر على الموقف ..

    رواية سلسة وحبكة لا بأس بها وبالطبع ممتعة .

    روايات الجريمة الإسكندنافية جيدة جدًا ومسيطرة على سوق روايات الجريمة العالمية الحديث .

    ولو خرجو عن الإطارات النمطية لكانت الروايات الاسكندنافية أفضل بكثير

    هذا الشيء حدث هنا / لا وجود لأفكار نمطية في هذه الرواية ..

    مما يجعل التقييم النهائي 3,5/5 .

    في هذه الرواية تمّ التطرق من جديد لقضية دائمة في سلسلة روايات أرنالدور أندريداسون

    وهو شقيق المحقق ارلندو الذي فقد بين الثلوج قبل أكثر من 40 عامًا .

    وهو موضوع ملازم ومؤرق للمحقق وعلى ما يبدو هناك شيء لا نعرفه في الموضوع وأنا التي ظننت أننا عرفنا كلّ شيء .

  • Orsodimondo

    Indriðason ama raccontare casi che iniziano con la presentazione del morto alla prima pagina - qui si tratta di un bambino thainlandese di una decina d’anni nato in Islanda da padre indigeno e madre thailandese ).

    Per poi prendersi trecento e passa pagine per sciogliere questa principale indagine.

    Il colpevole viene svelato nel finale: di solito prima Indriðason ci ha portato a sospettare di altri, e di solito il colpevole ha compiuto il delitto quasi casualmente

    Indriðason ama raccontare casi che iniziano con la presentazione del morto alla prima pagina - qui si tratta di un bambino thainlandese di una decina d’anni nato in Islanda da padre indigeno e madre thailandese ).

    Per poi prendersi trecento e passa pagine per sciogliere questa principale indagine.

    Il colpevole viene svelato nel finale: di solito prima Indriðason ci ha portato a sospettare di altri, e di solito il colpevole ha compiuto il delitto quasi casualmente, in un gesto inconsulto, non premeditato.

    Al caso principale ne affianca un altro secondario: qui si tratta di una donna scomparsa.

    Non vengono presentati altri delitti: se compare un altro morto è vittima di incidente, o suicidio. Qui, forse l’uno o forse l’altro, ma forse anche entrambi (tanto è importante il secondo filone d’indagine!).

    Il terzo thread è il solito ricordo che angoscia il protagonista, l’ispettore Erlendur: l’incidente che da bambino portò alla morte di suo fratello minore disperso in una tormenta di neve, mai ritrovato, morto per cause naturali.

    Anche questa volta il morto viene ucciso con un’arma da taglio.

    Le armi da fuoco non appartengono all’universo di Indriðason, magari perché fanno troppo rumore, oppure perché non sono abbastanza domestiche, quotidiane, casuali.

    Anche questa volta l’occhio di Indriðason è più da sociologo che da psicologo, che da costruttore di trame e robusti intrecci.

    Il protagonista è sempre lo stesso, un ispettore mesto e spento, che si altera quando gli fanno una domanda - domanda che per lui è sempre troppo personale, preferisce tacere, chiudere gli occhi, guardare nel vuoto - un po’ imbranato con le donne ma non fino al punto da non concretizzare un rimorchio con una più giovane e di piacevole avvenenza.

    La gente che descrive sbarca il lunario, vive spesso in case zozze, dedita al bere e alle droghe.

    In questo romanzo ai locali islandesi si aggiunge la popolazione d’emigrazione, thailandesi filippini vietnamiti.

    Il paese di accoglienza, l'Islanda, è descritto con queste parole:

    .

    Ancora una volta per me sono tre stelle.

    E direi che questa è la mia ultima esperienza con Indriðason, troppo mesto e monocorde, senza guizzi, e con troppi cliché per i miei gusti.

  • Lobstergirl

    Erlendur: D

    mystery/thriller plotting: D-

    writing: F

    social commentary: D-

    translation: F-

    The entire murder mystery is utterly banal, the writing drab and unimaginative. I was going to say that Arnaldur really jumped the shark with this one (and that's just the type of stupid expression he and his translators would love) but I think he already did that with

    . This is a translation that is oddly, bewilderingly, almost willfully subpar. Some examples:

    A family sits down to a meal of "spaghetti wi

    Erlendur: D

    mystery/thriller plotting: D-

    writing: F

    social commentary: D-

    translation: F-

    The entire murder mystery is utterly banal, the writing drab and unimaginative. I was going to say that Arnaldur really jumped the shark with this one (and that's just the type of stupid expression he and his translators would love) but I think he already did that with

    . This is a translation that is oddly, bewilderingly, almost willfully subpar. Some examples:

    A family sits down to a meal of "spaghetti with mince." Huh?

    (Get back at her?)

    (He stayed behind to clean the aisles?)

    (Ripped him a new ***hole?)

    There was also the oddity of discovering that there are "colored" people in Iceland, and that these people are Asian. And the murder victim being "colored" is dangled before us as a motive, but is just a red herring. Very, very lame.

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