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Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason
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English (18)  Dutch (5)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
In this prequel to the Erlendur series, we meet Erlendur as a young police officer on the traffic beat, before he joins the CID. He turns his talents to a private investigation when a homeless man he knows is found drowned in a local quarry, and there may be a connection with a missing-persons case where the trail has gone cold.

After the melancholy of Strange Shores, this is a nice way to revisit Erlendur. I particularly enjoyed his more introverted, traditional nature in contrast with his noisy, modern traffic-cop partners (there’s a running joke about pizza that made me giggle). The chapters are short and the story motors along, albeit somewhat repetitively because Erlendur meets various people over the course of the investigation and has to explain to them what he’s doing investigating this case where he theoretically has no call to be. But the repetition was handled well.

And yes, there’s an appearance by Marion Briem. Indriðason has always cleverly written about Marion without qualifications that would indicate a male Marion or a female; everyone can therefore have their own idea of what Erlendur’s eventual boss looks like. (I picture Marion like my boss at my first office job.)

This is a good book for those who have enjoyed other entries in the Erlendur series. It stands alone sufficiently that you don’t need to have read Strange Shores, but reading at least one other Erlendur book would be advisable. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Oct 28, 2017 |
This prequel to the Inspector Erlendur series was a great read; however, I must admit it made me less inclined to plan a vacation in Iceland. The young Erlendur takes an interest in cold cases, which he pursues while on night duty as a traffic/incident officer. He delves into the lives of the homeless and persons who simply vanished. One item in the book that struck me was when he picked up an old newspaper and "...was immersed in a translated Swedish serial called The Laughing Policeman..." -- a nice reference to what later became one of several detective novels written by the noted Swedish authors Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. The atmosphere of Reykjavik Nights is reminiscent of the classic Martin Beck detective series. If you are into Nordic noir, I highly recommend both the Erlendur and Beck series, perhaps starting with this prequel. ( )
  Jcambridge | Aug 11, 2017 |
2014, Random House Audio, Read by George Guidall

Publisher’s Summary: adapted from Amazon.ca
In this stunning prequel to his critically acclaimed Inspector Erlendur series, Arnaldur Indridason gives devoted fans a glimpse of Erlendur as a young, budding detective.
The beat on the streets in Reykjavik is busy: traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband ... and an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to care. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of the city.

My Review:
Reykjavik Nights is the first of the prequel novels Indridason has written which give fans a glimpse of Erlendur as a young detective. As always, the story is well-told, multi-layered, and suspenseful. I think it must take a certain talent to write “backwards in time” so to speak – after nine successful Erlendur novels, Indridason has changed direction and is now writing about his character as a young man. Although I have not listened to any of the previous novels on audio, George Guidall is perfect here as narrator. Next up, I look forward to his narration of Into Oblivion, the second Young Erlendur novel. ( )
3 vote lit_chick | Aug 3, 2017 |
Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavik Nights (published in the US in 2015) is billed as a prequel to the author’s popular Inspector Erlendur series. As such, it offers fans of the series a fascinating look at a very young Erlendur just as he begins his career as a member of the Reykjavik police department.

Although young Erlendur’s responsibilities are mostly those of a traffic cop as he works the night shift with his two partners, his curiosity about what happens on his city’s streets is already transforming him into the dogged investigator he will one day be. Erlendur is not the kind of man who can turn his back on those whose bad habits have condemned them to a precarious life on Reykjavik’s cold streets. Despite the resistance of many of those he tries to help, the young traffic division cop always tries to leave them in better shape the he finds them. Erlendur sees the homeless as individuals, not simply as a long series of drunkards or mentally ill people to be dealt with on his shift and then quickly forgotten. He remembers their faces and their names and tries to connect with them in as positive a way as the situation allows him.

A man named Hannibal is one of the hopelessly addicted alcoholics whom Erlendur has dealt with more than once, even to letting the man shelter in a jail cell one particularly cold night when there was room to spare in the jail (something he has been known to do for others in similar circumstances and conditions). Something about Hannibal intrigues Erlendur, something about his personality that hints how seriously the man has been damaged by something in his past. Erlendur wonders if it is too late to save the man from himself.

But that will never be, because three boys paddling their makeshift boat down one of the city’s tiny waterways soon discover Hannibal’s drowned body floating there. For Erlendur, the worst thing about Hannibal’s sad end is that no one seems to care. The police are quick to write his dearth off as an accidental drowning; the man’s street friends are not concerned with the details of his death; and the world will soon forget that Hannibal ever existed. Erlendur, however is not so ready to forget Hannibal and starts asking questions, lots of them, during his off-duty hours – questions that lead to an entirely off-the-books investigation that will find Erlendur risking his own future by keeping what he learns from his superiors in the department, including the very investigators who would most profit from learning what Erlendur discovers.

Reykjavik Nights will be particularly enjoyable for readers already familiar with the Inspector Erlendur character because the author has clearly built the young traffic cop from elements of the man readers know the mature Inspector now to be. It is all there:
• Erlendur is not a man who enjoys drinking
• Staying in alone to read, listen to the radio, or play his jazz records is much to Erlendur’s taste.
• He prefers to eat plain, traditional food and saves even roast lamb for special occasions.
• He is intrigued by books about people who have gone missing but have beaten incredible odds to find safety once again – and her reads them over and over again.
• Not nocturnal by nature, he has nevertheless come to enjoy the relative silence and isolation of Reykjavik at night.
• And, most importantly of all, Erlendur himself is a man severely damaged by the disappearance of his childhood brother during a blizzard whiteout.

Reykjavik Nights is far from a perfect crime novel. It is, in fact, a rather plodding one that despite is relatively short 295 pages seems to take forever to reach its conclusion. Still, this is definitely one that Inspector Erlendur fans need to read if they are to completely know and understand the character. ( )
  SamSattler | May 21, 2017 |
Very reminiscent of books about an detective in Sweden. A good read. Sometimes I got tripped up on the names--of people, places--but the story line was a good one. ( )
  TGPistole | May 19, 2017 |
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Arnaldur Indriðasonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Faber, AdriaanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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De jongens duwden tegen een groen jack, dat boven het wateroppervlak uit kwam.
There was a green anorak in the water.
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"When a [homeless man] he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to care. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of the city"--Amazon.com.

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