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Publisher's Summary

In 1974, two men vanished without a trace under suspicious circumstances, shocking the people of Iceland, where serious crime is almost nonexistent. More than a year later, there seemed to be a breakthrough when a small-time crook named Erla Bolladottir described a dream to police that they interpreted as a sign of trauma related to the men's disappearance.

After lengthy interrogations, investigations and courtroom dramas, Erla and five acquaintances confessed to killing both men and were given prison sentences ranging from three years to life. But over the years, the case against the convicted six began to disintegrate, and one major question remained unanswered: Why had they all confessed to murder if they hadn't done it?

©2018 Anthony Adeane (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Greg
  • Springfield, OR, United States
  • 08-02-18

Quaint but in a good way...

Iceland's most infamous murder case isn't the sort of bone chilling true-crime you'd normally find. By all standards, a single murder seems delightfully tame but to a country nearly devoid of violent crime, the walls of isolation crumble as the tide of modernity flows in. The mystery revolves around the disappearance of two men Guðmundur and Geirfinnur, two seemingly unconnected men, two mysteries 10 months apart from each other. Seemingly at the center of the drama is counter-culturalist, petty-criminal, Sævar Ciesielski and his beatnik girlfriend Erla Bolladóttir. What follows is a complex web of ever changing layered narratives, of a who-done-it rooted Icelandic identity and a police force deeply in over there heads.

Out of Thin Air is far more cultural primer for modern Icelandic pop culture and history than it is a murder-mystery, as we're treated to historical events, quirks of Icelandic culture, meant to give deeper context. Along the way, we learn about ghostly voices that supposedly emanate from the Vatnajökull glacier by farmers who fell in it's crevasses on the way to fish or that citizens of Reykjavik print the names of residents on the doors and a prone to leaving their heat cranked and windows open in the middle of winter. In the end, these tidbits add up and give us a sense of what it means to be Icelandic, and thus ends up being the bigger reward.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful