Arnualdur is an Icelandic mystery writer. I've read at least three of his books in the past five years. I remember The Draining Lake and Voices as being good.
Inspector Erlendur, the main character reminded me of Douglas Adams' robot. His approach to life was "Well, I suppose..."
The story does carry the book. There are actually two stories. One is a case study of the banking corruption that brought economic disaster to Iceland in 2008. Two murders, seemingly unrelated at first, lead Sigurður Óli to a small group of bankers and a complex multinational plan to make piles of money.
The second story is about sexual abuse of children. It's while trying to make sense of the ramblings of an old drunk that Sigurður Óli actually seems to grow as a person. I don't know if that was intentional on Arnaldur's part or one of those things that takes over during the writing of a book.
That second story is more interesting and more awful. What is it about the Icelanders and depression? Not enough sunlight in the winter? Too much in the summer? The first story portrays the Icelandic bankers as just like the American and British bankers who saw nothing wrong with playing fast and loose with other people's money in order to make obscene profits by finding loopholes in the law.
The book was good. Not great, but worth the time.
Have you read Arnaldur's Black Skies? What did you think of it? Read anything else lately? Write and tell this little bit of the world what you think.
- Jake Kerridge's interview with Arnaldur in The Telegraph, 3 September 2013
- Paul Binding's review in The Independent
- Maxine Clarke's review at Eurocrime