Sunday Salon: Arctic Chill and others

TSSbadge3 Last week, my review of the superb Arctic Chill appeared on Euro Crime. The book is the fifth translated novel in the series by Arnaldur Indridason – there are two earlier books that have not yet been translated into English from the original Icelandic. If you prefer the visual medium, the film of the first translated book in the series, Jar City (aka Tainted Blood) has recently been released in the UK. From my review of Arctic Chill:

"Is there such a thing as a perfect crime-fiction novel? Probably not, but if there were, this would surely be a strong contender. Arnaldur Indridason's latest novel in the Inspector Erlendur series continues the upward trend in quality, confidence and storytelling that I have come to hope for, even dare to expect, with each new outing. Tragically, Indridason's translator, Bernard Scudder died before he had completed work on ARCTIC CHILL, but Victoria Cribb has stepped in and the result seems to be a seamless one.
The first few chapters of the book tell simply the story of a young Thai/Icelandic boy, Elias, found frozen in the snow, stabbed to death, a few yards from the block of flats that is his home. The police investigation continues, initially in a straightforward mode but gradually tightening its grip as icily as the climate, becoming colder and bleaker as the pages turn." Read on here.

Five other books were reviewed last week at Euro Crime, and what a collection of reviews! Congratulations to Karen Meek for putting his website together and providing such an excellent, regularly updated collection of reading recommendations.

Amanda Brown on The Last Breath by Denise Mina: "Denise Mina writes a good narrative with a hard edge and reality to it which draws you in. Her main characters have a depth that helps them stand out from the page. Paddy is headstrong, but the family dimension gives her a softer side and facilitates an interesting set of sub-stories which offer a strong contrast to the grim reality of the Anglo-Irish tensions which underpin the main plot."

Fiona Walker on A Deal with the Devil by Martin Suter: "the bottom line is that A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL is an incredibly enjoyable, gripping and dramatic book, with a lovely line in originality. It's worth anyone's time, and I would all too gladly have spent a lot more time in the company of Sonia Frey. Very good stuff." 

Sunnie Gill on Murder on the Dance Floor by Susan Kelly: "first-rate example of contemporary crime-writing. It has all the right elements: tension, a twisting plot, strong and distinctive characters and a good blend of the working and private lives of the police involved in the investigation."

Laura Root on Dog Eats Dog by Iain Levison: "In addition to crisp dialogue, convincing characterisation, and tight plotting, the author places his sharp satirical gaze upon the great American public institutions – academia, law enforcement, probation and local politics to great effect. DOG EATS DOG is an excellent thriller and a highly entertaining read."

Pat Austin on Dark Flight by Lin Anderson: "I especially liked the way Anderson took a story that is fairly common knowledge and wove it into her plot. The characters are rounded and believable and the relationships well drawn. The plot speeds along, from Glasgow to Nigeria and is full of tension and suspense."

3 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Arctic Chill and others

  1. What an enticing review! Is it possible to read Arctic Chill as a standalone novel – or is it better to start with it’s predecessors, do you think?

  2. I must work out how to recommend books for purchase at my local library. ARCTIC CHILL is yet another title they don’t have! That’s about the 4th “no show” I’ve come up with this morning. Not that I need any more books here in the house. There must be close to 100 unread crime fiction titles. Helps explain why they just seem to leap off the shelves into my arms in the bookshop though doesn’t it?

  3. Yes, I think you can read Arctic Chill as a standalone, Clare. In each of these books, the plot is independent. You get to learn more about the recurring characters in each book but you don’t need to have read the previous ones.
    Agreed, Kerrie. I tend to read a mix of review copies and Amazon purchases, these days, as translated or relatively non-“bestselling” fiction does not seem a huge priority for the library given their budget limitations, though they are pretty good at “mainstream” bestsellers (eg you can’t move for Patricia Cornwell et al.)

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