Author of the Month

Name: Arnaldur Indridason

First Novel: Sons of Earth

Most Recent Book: Voices

'… by far his best to date.'

A doorman in a Reykjavik hotel is stabbed to death in the basement and left dressed in his Santa outfit.

Erlundur, the detective investigating has to navigate the myriad of characters that both reside and work in the hotel. However, it soon becomes apparent that the murder is connected to the victim’s brief brush with fame when he was a child. The cherubic choirboy with the voice of an angel has somehow ended up in a dingy basement to meet an untimely end...

This is the third book from Indridason published in England - and by far his best to date. The investigation is both routine (the dreary killing of a friendless porter) and, yet, interesting as the life of the victim emerges.

The character of Erlendur is suitably dark and the book, along with all of Indridason’s, documents his daughter’s battle with drug dependency. Yet there is something about this novel that takes the story beyond his other books to date and manages to produce a heart-felt murder mystery.

Reviewed by: S.W.

CrimeSquad Rating


1) How would you describe your books?
They are crime stories taking place in Iceland with an Icelandic police detective who has a special interest in people vanishing.
2) What is your favourite crime read of all time?
Well, one of my favourites is Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. It is a thriller like The New York Times described it and it has everything in it to make a good crime story and more.
3) Would you describe yourself as a Crime fan and if so, which authors do you most admire and why?
No, I am not a Crime fan. I like all kinds of books and movies. But I do admire the books of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö from Sweden. They wrote about a team of detectives in Stockholm with Martin Beck in the forefront and the books were good because they focused on realism in both the making of characters and the issues they wrote about. And they also made good plots.
4) Who, in your eyes, is pushing the boundaries of crime fiction today – and why?
I honestly would not know. I do know that lots of good things are going on all around the world and that in Iceland for example crime writing is thriving as never before.
5) Without giving away the plot, which book included your favourite plot twist of all time?
My favourite plot twist is not in a recent book but a movie (I was a movie critic for many years) we all know called The Usual Suspects.
6) What is your favourite movie adaptation of a crime novel?
There are so many of course and it is difficult to pick one out. I think I would name The Godfather by Coppola. It is a great, great movie made from a page turner about the beautiful family life of criminals.
7) Will Erlendur's love life improve soon?
You are now on the third book and I am working on my eighth on Erlendur so a lot of the story is untold from your point of view. And I don’t know how many there will be. His life is still a bit of a mystery to me and maybe when I have solved it I will stop writing about him. It would be a crime to tell you what happens in his life in the future so I won’t reveal anything about his love life.
8) 'Voices' touches on the world of vinyl record collectors. Do you have an interest in this?
No, not in particular. I am interested in the collecting itself, whether it is records or anything else. But I myself don’t collect anything at all.
9) Where do you see Crime fiction going next?
It seems to be going a bit northerly with the Scandinavian crime writers doing a fine job with realism and the social aspects of crime stories. People seem to want realism in their crime stories and Scandinavian mysteries have been delivering just that.