Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Voices by Arnaldur Indridason

As a treat, I bought several books in the Reykjavik series by Indridason, and this week I'm goofing off with Icelandic crime.  This is an older title...Hypothermia is the most recent (I think), and one I reviewed last year. 

In Voices, the ensemble cast of three detectives is great--they all seem fully developed and competent, complementing each other's styles.  As far as the story goes, this was intriguing and fast-paced, but not particularly unusual in terms of plot.  In fact, I can't even say much about the outline without giving anything away.  Maybe I'm jaded, but I kind of knew where this was headed much earlier than any of the detectives did.  I was sort of surprised at the naivete they had that prevented them from solving the puzzle sooner.  That said, it was still an entertaining read.

Two complaints:  Eva Lind is the troubled daughter of the main detective, who is troubled in his own way after losing his brother decades before.  The interaction between the father and daughter is frustrating.  She seems incredibly whiny and childish, and he's far too patient to be for real.  While he seems to dwell on his loss for much of the book, it doesn't feel invasive.  While her self-pity is just obnoxious and less sympathetic.  I'd have loved to have seen less of her. 

The other thing is that for some reason, Iceland's unique location doesn't appear in much of the settings;  instead, Icelandic motif sweaters get a lot of mentions but not the actual geography/geology/history of the region.  Sure, almost all of the scenes take place in a hotel, where artifice reigns, yet still, I wished for more of the scenery...the George Gudni landscape that is both awe-inspiring and frightening at the same time.  Sadly, Gudni passed away recently in June, which actually inspired my seeking out this series of novels. 

Two sublime Gudni photos...

1 comment:

  1. Sad that the Icelandic setting doesn't feature in this one, it was a highlight of Hypothermia