Gold Dagger Award winner Arnaldur Indridason’s novels featuring Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson became international sensations on their way to selling millions of copies worldwide. The debut of morose detective Sveinsson finds the inspector and his team delving into the murder of a retiree with horrifying secrets.
©2000, 2004 Arnaldur Indridason (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
"[A] model puzzle presented with clarity and crisp economy.” (Kirkus)
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
This was my first book by Arnaldur Indridason and I'll admit that at first I was drawn to it because I so love to listen to George Guidall's narration, so thought I would try it. I haven't read too many Icelandic novels, so didn't know what to expect. Happily--the result was unexpectedly good.
It begins with the uncomplicated-appearing murder of an old man in Reykjavík. There are a couple of clues that give it an odd sense, but Inspector Erlendur cannot yet imagine what he will be facing as he and his police team set out to try to solve it. This mystery has so many twists and turns that it stays moving at a good pace. The settings change over the course of the story, so that it has a feeling of wandering into entirely unexpected territory, ultimately that which deals with the name of the book (Jar City).
I will have to say that listening to unfamiliar Icelandic names was hard (even with a really helpful explanation of them in the beginning), but the story was well told. It related a bit about Erlendur's personal life (which I assume will be developed in subsequent books), but in general, just a good mystery. I would not give it 5 stars, but it was solidly good with what seems like potential to develop into something even better.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
Very enjoyable novel set in Iceland. Detective inspector Erlendur Sveinsson investigates the murder of an older recluse. The protagonist is 50ish, divorced and alienated from his 2 adult kids (at least one of whom is a drug addict.) The plot is interesting and the mystery (although not multi-level or unforeseeable) is intriguing. The novel could have been improved with increased character development of Erieindur's fellow detectives, Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg. I would have liked to seen a bit more of the local color, to the give the Iceland setting a bit more uniqueness. Nevertheless, this was a good read, made even more enjoyable with the talented narration of George Guidall, who is one of my favorite narrators.
I felt the story was a little slow and I was disappointed in the ending. I was hoping for more twists and turns through out the novel.
I found the setting of Iceland fascinating.
Wonderful, could not have been better.
This is a very quiet novel, written mostly inside the head of the Lead Detective.
The Detective is tired yet conscientious, has some excess baggage, but is nonetheless an exemplary officer.
The beginning of the story offers an interesting lead-in to the story. It opens on a murder mystery, that has some strange clues that at first do not seem to fit the crime. The listener has immediate questions, and as the detective studies the crime scene, his discoveries provides atmosphere and some intrigue. Sadly, however, intrigue and suspense are what is lacking most in the Icelandic Mystery.
The language, even as a translation, flows nicely throughout the entire linear storyline.
But in the end, Jar City seemed to be more of a character study than a mystery, and as a result the climax was a little flat.
I almost stopped this book at the beginning as it starts harshly. I'm glad I kept going as the issue resolved itself. The plot is interesting and sufficiently tangled to hold interest but not so tangled as to be difficult to follow. I like the personality of police detective, Erlendur Sveinsson.
There are details of Icelandic life and character that make the story come alive. I will listen to more books by this author.
Not as strong a sense of place as the Girl With series, not as interesting a character as John Rebus.
Quite a middling book. A really awful character is found murdered. The police work is plodding and not really believable--ignoring most likely explanation for crime based on a hunch then going to extraordinary lengths to investigate the hunch. Nesbo has nothing to worry about.
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