Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Arnaldur Indriđason

Photo of Arnaldur IndrioasonBiography
Arnaldur Indriðason was born in Iceland on January 8, 1961. He received his B.A. in history from the University of Iceland in 1996 and currently resides in Reykjavik with his wife and three children. Indriðason worked as a journalist for an Icelandic newspaper and as a freelance script writer. Since 2002 he has worked full time as a novelist. Crime fiction does not have a long tradition in Iceland; a few were published in the late 20th century but were not very popular. However in 2000 when Iceland celebrated the “Week of the Book” several crime writers, including Indriðason, wrote The Reykjavik 2000 Mystery, one chapter each. This is an indication that the genre is gaining popularity.

What he writes: Indriðason has written thrillers and crime novels, but only the crime series of Detective Erlendur Sveinnson has been translated into English. The series is set in Reykjavik, Iceland and although similar to other Scandinavian crime fiction in its social realism the uniqueness of the Icelandic society is apparent. The series is a classic police procedural with Detective Sveinnson the older and more jaded policeman who is paired with the younger, ambitious Sigurdur Oli. As the series progress the reader learns more about Detective Sveinnson and his colleagues which adds to the vitality of the novels. Indriðason’s writing is sparse, but most of all he is a very, very good storyteller.

 

List of works available in English 
  Jar City (2005) Also published under the title Tainted Blood
  Silence of the Grave (2006)
  Voices (2007)
  The Draining Lake (2008)
  Arctic Chill (2009)
   
Awards
2006 Le Prix Mystere de la Critique (France) and Le Prix du Coeur Noir (France) for Jar City
2005 The Martin Beck Award (Sweden) for Voices
2005 The Golden Dagger (United Kingdom) for Silence of the Grave
2003 The Glass Key (Crime Writers of Scandinavia) for Silence of the Grave
2002 The Glass Key (Crime Writers of Scandinavia) for Jar City
 
What the critics say
"... one man stands out for his sense of highly believable drama, suspense and an almost effortlessly simple, yet captivating delivery…he is Arnaldur Indriðason." - Daily Mirror (September 5, 2008)
"... applying his austere style to a crime of such emotional breadth and sociological complexity that it acquires the sweep and consequence of epic storytelling." - New York Times (October 22, 2006)
"... another top-notch mystery from Indriðason…, its lyrical melancholy matched by the depth of its characterizations." - Kirkus Reviews (August 1, 2007)

 

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