Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jar City, by Arnaldur Indriđason

(hb; 2000, 2004: third* book in the Reykjavik Thriller series. Translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder. . . *The first two books, Sons of Dust [1997] and Silent Kill [1998], haven't been translated from the Icelandic to English yet.)

From the inside flap:

"When a lonely old man is found murdered in his Reykjavik flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Inspector Erlendur, who heads the investigation team, discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, though not convicted, of an unsolved crime. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him?

"As the team of detectives reopen this very cold case, Inspector Erlendur uncovers secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man - secrets that have been carefully guarded by many people for many years. As he follows a fascinating trail of unusual forensic evidence, Erlendur also confronts stubborn personal conflicts that reveal his own depth and complexity of character."


Jar City is an excellent, focused police procedural with engaging (and succinctly drawn) characters, riveting action and equally riveting case-based revelations.

Comparisons between Indriđason's Reykjavik Thrillers and the ten-book Martin Beck Mysteries have been repeatedly made, and rightly so: both are reader-grabbing-from-the-git-go, character-progressive and humane reads.

Worth owning, this.

Followed by Silence of the Grave.


The first film version was released in Iceland on October 20, 2006.

Ingvar Eggert Sigurðson, billed as Ingvar E. Sigurðson, played Erlendur. Áugústa Eva Erlendóttir played Eva Lind. Björn Hlynir Haraldsson played Sigurður Óli. Ólafía Hrönn Jónsdóttir played Elínborg. Þorstenn Gunnarsson played Holberg. Theodór Júlíusson played Elliði. Kristbjörg Kjeld played Katrín. Þórunn Magnea Magnúsdóttir played Elín. Guðmunda Elíasdóttir played Theodóra.

Baltasar Komákur directed and scripted the film.


An American remake is scheduled to hit theatrical screens sometime in 2012. Michael Ross is set to script the film.

When more remake information becomes available, I'll update this book review.


MorningAJ said...

I read this a few weeks ago and loved it. I've read a couple of others too. I think he's like Ian Rankin and the Rebus series. Good tales.

Steve Isaak said...

I just picked up the first sequel, "Silence of the Grave" - after I read another book, I'll be reading "Silence".

Ian Rankin is on my "to read" list (which numbers about two hundred books); prior to now, I hadn't heard of the Rebus series. (Will check that out.)

Thanks for visiting and commenting. =)

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