cover image Arctic Chill

Arctic Chill

Arnaldur Indridason, , trans. from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb. . Minotaur, $24.99 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-312-38103-5

In Indridason’s stellar fifth Reykjavik thriller (after The Draining Lake ), police detective Erlendur Sveinsson and his team investigate the murder of a dark-skinned Asian boy, found frozen in his own blood one midwinter day outside a rundown apartment block. The author imbues the self-doubting Erlendur with enormous depth, as an insecure father unable to show his love for his errant son and daughter as well as a troubled professional who’s made pain his constant companion. Indridason also lays bare the plight of Thai women brought to Iceland, married and soon divorced by Icelanders, left to raise their children alone in a culture, a climate and a language they don’t understand. On top of this national tragedy is the universal problem of bored, unsupervised youth, raised with no respect for authority and awash in fast food, rock music and violent computer games. Indridason has produced a stunning indictment of contemporary society. (Sept.)