Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason
|Outrage by Arnaldur Indridason|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Detective Elinborg takes centre stage in place of Erlendur, but to good effect in this intriguing story from Reykjavik. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: June 2011|
|Publisher: Harvill Secker|
The body of a young man was found in a flat close to Reykjavik city centre. His throat had been cut and there was a great deal of blood around. What had happened didn't seem to be the result of a burglary and the only clues for the police are a woman's shawl and some prescription drugs in the victim's pocket. Detective Erlendur would normally have been in charge of the case but he was away in the east of Iceland so the case was assigned to Detective Elinborg instead. She's in the difficult position of juggling her family life and the demands of her job, but her investigation uncovers a squalid story of drug dealers, an unsolved disappearance and lives that are not all they seem on the surface.
I'm used to Erlendur being the main character in Indridason's novels and I wasn't quite certain how I would find the story being based around his deputy. I needn't have worried: if anything I found it easier to relate to Elinborg, with her demanding family life and I'm hoping that we'll see more of her in the lead role. Her sense of smell and knowledge of cooking played a big part in the investigation but they went presented as 'womanly' attributes there all. Rape and the use of date rape-drugs feature strongly in the story with a young woman waking in a strange bed to find that she has been raped and uncertain as to whether or not she is responsible for the body on the floor.
As I read I was pretty certain that I knew who had committed the murder. I'd even worked out how it had been done and why, but I was wrong. Indridason's ending was much cleverer, more subtle and far more satisfying. Looking back, the clues were there, but I hadn't appreciated their significance. This is a cleverly worked story and at the end of it I had to conclude that Indridason is not nearly as well known outside Iceland as he ought to be.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more from Indridason we can recommend Tainted Blood (now published as Jar City) and Hypothermia both of which feature Detective Erlendur. For more crime in Iceland try Frozen Out by Quentin Bates.
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