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Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,1321103,068 (3.68)225
Recently added byShoosty, private library, brendaough, diloy, smichaelwilson, leli46, leslie.98, iceT
  1. 20
    Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indriðason (bcquinnsmom)
  2. 10
    Lonely Hearts by John Harvey (ansate)
    ansate: Erlendur and Resnick remind me a lot of each other, and both series paint vivid pictures of the cities where they take place.
  3. 00
    The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Disco_grinch)
  4. 00
    Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (dreamydress48)
  5. 00
    The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø (Disco_grinch)
  6. 00
    Pyroman by Jón Hallur Stefánsson (2810michael)
  7. 00
    The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indriðason (Anonymous user)
  8. 11
    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (ANeumann)

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» See also 225 mentions

English (96)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
When I first discovered Indriðason, it was with Silence of the Grave (the book that comes after this one). I loved it and read through the rest of the series but for some reason, until now I had never come back to this 1st book (in English, 3rd in Icelandic).

Indriðason has a wonderful way of weaving past and present in his stories; this one had less of the 'flashback' style but still blended past events with current ones. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Erlendur's daughter Eva has a significant part in this book. ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 30, 2016 |
This is the grimmest of the grim. I just finished rereading this one because I remembered only one thing from the first reading. At some point I'd realized that the biggest mystery for me was why the book was called Jar City. I was more than halfway through. This, it turns out, is revealed on page 141. The entire book is 275 pages long. Horribly sad. I've read the Draining Lake as well and loved it. I like dark without graphic violence.
  dawsong | Mar 25, 2016 |
I'm giving this a 4-star rating instead of a 5-star rating simply because the genetics part of the story didn't hold my attention. But that's not the fault of the author. I just couldn't get into it. I failed to grasp the science behind the details of the genetics in this story. Which is my fault, for not being as well-informed about science as the author.

The story is rather macabre, as it has to do with digging up bodies from graves, organs stored in jars in laboratories (the "Jar City" of the title), and a case of the sins of the fathers being visited upon the sons. Erlendur and his team of investigators (Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli) are called upon to solve the murder of an elderly man found bludgeoned to death in his basement apartment, which, by the way, has a very funky odor. It turns out that the elderly man was a career criminal, a rapist, who was never tried for his crimes. Erlendur suspects his murder had something to do his criminal past, and sets about digging into the man's past associates. He discovers old, long-held secrets, finds a long-buried body, and meets more than a few people tortured by their past, or by their parents' past history.

I read this book in two days. I have to say, Indridason's novels hold my attention unlike anything I've read in a long time. I kept turning the pages, and I was up until 5 AM reading one night. I highly recommend this author. ( )
  harrietbrown | Mar 2, 2016 |
The victim is a 70 year old man, found in his own apartment, bludgeoned with an ashtray and a note on the body with three words. Lead detective Erlendur is mystified by the note and convinced this is no ordinary "Iceland murder" and he proceeds down an investigative path that has his colleagues wondering if he's lost his touch. The investigation leads to old crimes and unsavory characters that only deepen the mystery.
The setting is very effective - it seems to be pouring rain through most of the novel, adding to the gloom of the investigation. Erlendur's daughter is a drug addict who shows up asking for money and adds worry to her father's life. His ex-wife has requested he look into the absence of a woman who disappeared from her own wedding. Erlendur manages to hold all the balls in the air as he marches along to solve the case.
I really enjoyed this - got it from the library yesterday and read the entire thing in one sitting (275 pages). It's a good story and I just couldn't put it down. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
I chose this because we're thinking of taking a trip to Iceland and I wanted to read some fiction set there to get a feel for the location. This wasn't the best choice for what I was after, but it was a fine mystery nonetheless. I probably would have rated it 3.5 stars if possible. It was solid, interesting, dark; I think I read it in three sittings (thanks, time change, for my ridiculous new habit of waking at 4:30 a.m.!) The mystery itself was engrossing; I think I didn't love it because of its darker nature - the ugliness of the crimes, the suffering of so many of the characters (senselessly, seemingly). There is almost no levity present. Erlandur is an interesting, flawed protagonist - I can see how there would be more stories based around him. I'm not entirely certain if I'll continue with the series or not.

I can totally see this being a TV series from the BBC. (Is it already? It seems right up their alley). ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
Indridason raises in a thoroughly gripping manner not just questions of paternity in a small nation, but wider issues of the use of genetic information, culminating in an ending that proves impressively moving.
added by vancouverdeb | editTime Out - London
"This is a dark, haunting novel, with a protagonist who searches for a murderer and finds his own humanity. The emotionally wrought ending caught me off guard and touched me in a way that few mystery novels do."--
added by vancouverdeb | editThe Boston Globe
"Award-winning Iceland author Indridason makes a compelling American debut with this first in a series featuring Reykjavík police inspector Erlendur. . . . Quiet, morose, dryly witty, Erlendur makes a fine, complex companion. . . . Those who enjoy Karin Fossum, Henning Mankell, or Janwillem van de Wetering will welcome this new series."--

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arnaldur Indriðasonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosimini, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scudder, BernardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's all one great big bloody mire
- Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson
First words
The words were written in pencil on a piece of paper placed on top of the body.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Jar City is also published as Tainted Blood
Original title: Mýrin
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312426380, Paperback)

From Gold Dagger Award--winning author Arnaldur Indridason comes a Reykjavík thriller introducing Inspector Erlendur
When a lonely old man is found dead in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Inspector Erlendur discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, but not convicted, of an unsolved crime, a rape. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man.
An international sensation, the Inspector Erlendur series has sold more than two million copies worldwide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:12 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson investigates the killing of a solitary man, found murdered in his Reykjavk apartment, and discovers that the dead man had been accused but not convicted of a rape forty years earlier.

» see all 5 descriptions

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