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Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason (2010)

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» See also 38 mentions

English (18)  Dutch (5)  French (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
To begin with I thought this was great, then I felt that Indridason was simply undulging his best-known character, but by the end I realised it was about something else entirely, and is quite profound. Ageing, memory, the function of enquiry and knowledge for it's own sake regardless of emotional consequences. I have to say I found the ending rather unsatisfactory, and unlikely that these characters would accept what they come to in those final, brief three pages that are so rushed they give the impression Indridason didn't want to write them, as though the task of solving the mystery were enough when of course we know it isn't because we have spent the entire series of Erlendur novels learning that closure is unattainable. Erlendur's story ends instead with a curious admixture of reason and magic. I guess that is quite Icelandic in some senses.

It's not Indridasson's best, but it's not the worst either. What I really don't understand is how the blurb on the back cover managed to get the leading story so wrong that it sounds as if it's about another book... but that's publishers. ( )
  Mijk | Apr 22, 2016 |
A fitting final for Erlendur. As usual he starts from the smallest of pieces of evidence building up to the result. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
I have been a fan of Indridason's books since reading Jar City several years ago. Just got round to reading Black Skies and Strange Shores after a couple of years break from him. It seems that this is the end of Erlendur but what a finale. A sad and poignant tale which grabs the heart strings and highlights Erlendur's dogged detective work as he unearths the 60year old mystery in Eastern Iceland. I'm going to read the two prequels but somehow they won't be the same. Farewell Erlendur. ( )
  jimrbrown | Jan 8, 2016 |
Is this the end of Erlendur? A logical end to the series. It has been a deep character study of a man unable to let go because he let go once. In this one I picked up an interesting hint--did Erlendur let go of his brother on purpose? Is that the true source of the guilt and self-destruction? Well, among gloomy Scandinavian mysteries, this series has shown to be the gloomiest. ( )
  crosbyp | Nov 14, 2015 |
Warning: this review contains spoilers.

****

In this book, Erlendur has returned to the East Fjords of his childhood on one of his periodic trips. While there, he stays in the ruins of his family's abandoned croft and ponders the past, especially the snowstorm in which his younger brother, Bergur, got separated from him and was never found again. Meanwhile, another missing persons case in the area attracts his attention: a young woman named Matthildur disappeared during a big snowstorm and was never found, but her sister has always suspected something more to the story. Erlendur is not asked to tackle the case, but it intrigues him. And as he hunts for answers regarding Matthildur, will he come closer to finding answers to what happened to Bergur?

This is a steady, measured book and does not contain excessive amounts of violence. The secrets Erlendur uncovers do cause discomfort for those who still remember Matthildur, but Erlendur does not become involved in pitched gun battles or chased by shadowy members of a crime syndicate or anything ridiculous like that.

He does come closer to finding out what happened to Bergur, and the chapters where he thinks about that day and the aftermath are sorrowful to read. And the last little bit of the book is so subtle that it is hard to believe what just happened. It does seem as though this is the last of Erlendur in modern times. I have to admit, though, that reading the book this late after publication dulled the impact for me, because now Indridason is writing books that focus on Erlendur's early days in the police force. So he's still "alive" in some form.

I recommend reading at least Hypothermia before this book; the events of Hypothermia are referenced in some manner at least once. Also, this is probably not the best place to start with the series, because without previous investment in Erlendur's character, the impact of the end might not be as strong. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
If I could read an Arnaldur Indridason crime novel every day for the rest of my life I would be a very happy man. I don't know of anyone writing better mysteries than he. He is a master.
added by mysterymax | editDeadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, George Easter (Sep 5, 2015)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Indridason, Arnaldurprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cribb, VictoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rexford, JustinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shutterstock.comCover imagessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Wees een briesje, mijn lied,
in het riet van de Styx
en zing, vertroostend, wiegend
hen die wachten.
Snorri Hjartarson
May my poem pass like a breeze through the sedge by the Styx, its singing bring solace, lull those to sleep who wait. Snorri Hjartason
Dedication
First words
Koud heeft hij het niet meer.
He no longer feels cold: instead a curious heat is spreading through his veins.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Book description
A young woman walks into the frozen fjords of Iceland, never to be seen again. But Matthildur leaves in her wake rumours of lies, betrayal and revenge.

Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for Matthildur but also for a long-lost brother, whose disappearance in a snow-storm when they were children has coloured his entire life. He is looking for answers.

Slowly, the past begins to surrender its secrets. But as Erlendur uncovers a story about the limits of human endurance, he realises that many people would prefer their crimes to stay buried.
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A young woman walks into the frozen fjords of Iceland, never to be seen again. But Matthildur leaves in her wake rumours of lies, betrayal and revenge. Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for Matthildur but also for a long-lost brother, whose disappearance in a snow-storm when they were children has coloured his entire life. He is looking for answers. Slowly, the past begins to surrender its secrets. But as Erlendur uncovers a story about the limits of human endurance, he realises that many people would prefer their crimes to stay buried.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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