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Jar City (Inspector Erlendur #3)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  8,532 ratings  ·  910 reviews
A man is found murdered in his Reykjavík flat. There are no obvious clues apart from a cryptic note left on the body and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Detective Erlendur is forced to use all the forensic resources available to find any leads at all. Delving into the dead man's life he discovers that forty years ago he was accused of an appalling crime. Did his past...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Minotaur Books (first published 2000)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3 bleak * of five

It's hard for me to believe this is a debut novel. The author is, of course, a journalist and so the possessor of writerly skills; still, a novel is something wholly and entirely other than what he could be expected to do in his sleep.

I think the first-novel-ishness comes out in a few small ways. He introduces a deeply disturbing sub-plot and does almost nothing with it. He has characters behave in some ways that don't scan with their stated behaviors. But on the whole,...more
I've taken an interest to Iceland ever since I read Halldór Laxness. Seeing there are a few Icelandic authors in translation - or maybe they are indeed just a few - I wanted to explore this country through the detective novels of Arnaldur Indriðason, as well. Luckily, he gives some interesting insights into the social aspect of Icelandic people. Well, more like the criminality aspect, through phrases such as:
Icelandic murders aren't complicated.
Icelandic judges were notoriously lenient.
James Thane
This very intriguing novel introduces Inspector Elendur Sveinsson of the Reykjavik Police Department. In Iceland, where virtually everyone is related, people are known by their first names. Erlendur is in the throes of middle age and not in the best of health. He lives alone and has two troubled children, including a daughter who's in debt to drug dealers.

An elderly man is murdered in his basement apartment and the killer leaves an enigmatic note lying on the body. Some of Erlender's colleagues...more
Arnaldur Indriđason's Jar City is a mystery novel set in Reykjavik that plays with issues of paternity, family, and identity. Mostly, however, it's a whodunit. As such, it's a good read. But as more than that, though it gestures toward larger questions, it left me wanting more.

The jacket reviews call it a "dark, haunting novel" with an "emotionally wrought ending that caught me off guard and touched me in a way that few mystery novels do" (The Boston Globe), one that, according to Time Out Lond...more
Icelandic Inspector Erlendur is leading the team investigating the murder of Holberg, an old man. Nothing has been stolen in his flat, but the detectives found a mysterious note and a photo of a child's grave. The photo leads Erlendur to some unconvicted crimes by Holberg years ago. Was Holberg murdered by one of his victims?

The autumn weather during the investigation is chilly, gray, and rainy, an atmosphere that seems right for investigating the events that led up to the burial of the child. T...more
Yeah, it had a very similar feel to other Nordic thrillers. But, damn. That last 20%! You pretty well knew where the plot was going, but it was the characterization that left you balled in knots til the very end. Suspense barely covers it. Heart-attack-inducing might be more appropriate.
Bleak landscape, bleak characters, bleak story. Icelandic murders are simple ones usually insists Inspector Erlendur. This one is certainly not. An elderly man, Holberg, is found dead in his apartment with a strange note left on the body. The case then leads in a variety of directions: to a young child, the product of a rape, who had apparently died of a brain tumor; the suicide of her mother; the disappearance at sea of Holberg’s friend; additional rapes; a terminally ill cop unsympathetic cop...more
The detective Erlendur series is my favorite discovery of the past decade. There is absolutely nothing similar in the detective fiction genre, and this includes other Nordic crime fiction such as the Millenium trilogy. It is just so Icelandic. The main character is complex, flawed and a mass of contradictions. The author skilfully combines threads of different plots into a very effective narrative.
Among the themes which are explored are guilt, loss of a child and coming to terms with the past (...more
This is an intriguing novel, atmospherically and in its inexplicable ability to sustain the reader's interest -- despite the fact that practically everyone in it is strange, idiopathic, stilted or weird of articulation, practically autistically disconnected from reality, and committed to viewing everything generically and without depth or dimension, as though through the filter of a bad fifties cop drama. Dragnet, possibly, though without the cheeriness and empathy of Joe Friday.

Erlendur, the pr...more
This is an amazingly dark and desperate mystery novel. Set in Iceland, in mid late fall, when the days are short and humid and full of desperation. Erlendur ends up investigating the murder of an old, vicious man who might have raped countless of women. This book is about hiding from the past and the consequences of it. It's as good as the best Mankell's novel. I liked it a lot even if I was feeling quite blue when I finished it. It's a total trip into a country we barely know exist and a societ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Detective Erlendur is a stout man of fifty, divorced twenty years ago from a woman who still loathes him, a smoker of long habit who eats badly and lives alone. He's estranged from his two children - his son is in rehab for drug addiction, and his daughter, Eva Lind, only comes around to ask for more money for her own drugs. At work in Reykjavík, he sees the worst of humanity, but murders are rare, and generally clumsily done. The day he starts investigating a new, puzzling murder case turns out...more
A very serviceable mystery set in Iceland (my first in that setting) and therefore featuring laconic detectives, much darkness (literal and figurative), and a seemingly huge cast of borderline depressive characters. Some of this depression may be laid at the feet of circumstance, some a part of the specific mysteries at the core of the story. While I did ultimately like the mystery and its resolution, the telling was so much more stark than what I'm used to that it detracted from the overall exp...more
Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason is a Nordic thriller and one in a series featuring a cast of police officers who rotate in being the focus of a novel. This novel features Inspector Erlandur, a middle-aged man with a lifetime of disappointments and pain and residual bitterness to show for it who also has an intense passion for getting at truth no matter what the cost, as well as locating the lost (in the many forms in which they come). He is long-divorced with two adult children, one of whom appe...more
المتابع لأدب (الجريمه) من المؤكد انه سيلاحظ تطور ملموس بشدة .
من دويل لأجاثا كريستى الى الطفرة الرهيبه فى العقود الأخيرة .
والفرق شاسع فعلا تبعا للتطور الرهيب فى الوسائل المعيشيه المختلفه.
ورغم كلاسيكة (أجاثا) التى لا تقاوم وعبقريتها الفذه الا اننا لا نقدر أن ننكر ابداع أدب الجريمهالحديث الذى كاد أن يزحزح كريستى من على عرشها (دان براون كمثال).
المهم أننا فى هذا العمل أمام ادب جريمه من الطراز الرفيع.
جريمة ما فى ايسلندا تتعمق وتتشعب بطريقه مذهله.
تطور أدب الجريمه لم يكن فقط فى الأدوات الحديثه ولا التطو
Friederike Knabe
The sombre fall weather in Iceland can have a depressing influence on the people of Reykjavik. Even when it is not raining, the clouds are hanging deep over the city and the short days of light are preparing for an even darker winter. Arnaldur Indridason depicts the atmosphere brilliantly. A bleak, yet not uncommon environment for excellent thrillers. In Iceland, crime is usually straightforward, the motive evident and the case quickly resolved, muses Inspector Erlendur Sveinnson of the local po...more
Patrick O'Neil
Murder, genetic disorders, pilfered human organs, disgruntle cops, an old and out of shape protagonist, drug-addicted daughter, dysfunctional families, criminal lowlifes, and bad Scandinavian weather – finally I'm back on track with a Nordic crime writer worth reading. In the apparent recent free-for-all to exploit and mass-market any and all crime writers that hail from a snowy northern European region I've come across few that really merit the hype. However, Arnaldur Indridason's Jar City tota...more
Joyce Lagow
Set in Reykjavik, Iceland, this debut novel police procedural features Inspector Erlandur who is practically a copy of Henning Mankell� s Inspector Kurt Wallander. Both are divorced, both have trouble with their ex-wives, and both have terrible relationships with their daughters (although Wallander� s improves over the series). [return][return]The plot centers around the murder of an old man. The investigation slowly uncovers the fact that the origins of the murder go back decades to other crime...more
Sarah ( Paris )
الرواية الثالثة التي أقرأؤها لـ الكاتب الايسلندي .. أرنالدور أندريداسون .

وكالعادة كانت مميزة جدا ..

وإن اختلفت عن باقي رواياته ..فـ في هذه الرواية تركيز كبير على العلوم الجنائية والأمراض الوراثية وإسهاب بمعلومات أصبح الكثيرون يعرفونها الآن ..
والفضل يعود لمسلسلات الـ CSI

.. ربما لأنها أول رواية من السلسلة التي بطلها المحقق الندور ..
وأراد أن يفهم القراء الرواية بشكل جديد ..وخاصة أؤلئك الذينً لمْ يدرسوا العلوم ولا يعرفون الكثير حول الطب أو الإحيا..

Jar City
هو اسم الرواية ومعناه ..مدينة المرطبانات ..
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Scandinavian Noir, heavy on the noir, which I enjoyed enough to just zip through. The only negative to this is the Icelandic names. I can only say that for that reason, this would never be a read aloud.

The detective, Erlendur, is a seasoned veteran. I'd like to describe him as sort of frumpy, but I learned that term applies to a woman. Anyway, at one point it was noticed that he'd buttoned his sweater wrong so that the bottom button didn't have a buttonhole to match. And late in the book, he wa...more
Roya Shaban
قليلة هي تلك الروايات التي تترك بعد نهايتها اثراً في نفسي
وهذه الرواية من ضمن تلك الروايات

مضت ايام بل اسابيع علي انهائي للرواية و لم اتوقف عن التفكير في احادثها
كأنها جزء من حياتي
لذلك قررت كتابه هذا الريفو لتشجبع كل شخص يريد قراءتها

من اهم الأشياء التي تعلمتها من الرواية
هي التفكير الطويل في كل خطوة أقوم بيها
و التركيز في التفاصيل الصغيرة . . .

وبالفعل وجدت اشياء كثيرة تغيرت في شخصيتي مند أن انهيت هذه الرواية

انا متحمسة لقراءة باقي السلسلة
وعلي الرغم من صعوبة ايجادها
لكن سأقرا النسخة العربية المترجمة
Jim Coughenour
The first novel in English by Indridason. Set in Iceland, this book and its sequels, Silence of the Grave and Voices, feature Erlendur Sveinsson, another middle-aged detective about ten scotches from suicide. He's an original, with an air of exhausted sophistication that makes Harry Bosch and John Rebus look callow.

Indridason is gift for anyone who loves a good crime story, but bored with the usual run of serial killers and sex addicts. The Icelandic context makes the stories richer and stranger...more
Forget Girl with Dragon Tattoo. Read this instead.

Gripping, spooky, human.

Our wonderful detective has issues, a less than perfect home life and so in. In fact, this seems to be a treand in the any Northern Mystery I have read.

He is like Rebus, but with different tastes.

And then he has to solve a mystery that deals with brains.
Arnaldur Indriðason ve karakteri Erlandur ile Sesler kitabı ile 2012 yılında tanıştım. Aslında Jar City daha önce başka bir yayınevi tarafından Türkçe'ye çevrilmiş ancak hiçbir bilgim yoktu. Doğan kitap Arnaldur Indriðason'un yayın haklarını aldığında Erlandur serisinin 5. kitabı yani Sesler ile işe başladı, sonra da 6. kitap Sular Çekildiğinde geldi.

Jar City'nin de seride 3. kitap olduğu, ilk iki kitabın ise İngilizce'sinin dahi olmadığı göz önüne alınır ise bölük pörcük okumuş oluyoruz şu ser...more
Arnaldur Indridason (a name I just retyped 4 times before I spelled it right) is a best selling writer in Iceland. I had a little trouble getting into this story at first but once I did, I did enjoy it and had to barrel through the last 100 pages to find out what happened. The way he wrapped everything up was fairly clever, making good use of Iceland's history, weather and demographics. His protagonist is Erlander, a Reykjavik detective investigating the murder of an old man that looks fairly un...more
Mar 28, 2011 Ms.pegasus rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers,
Shelves: mystery, fiction
JAR CITY by Arnaldur Indridason (translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder) is deceptively austere in writing style. The story is propelled almost solely by the skillful intertwining of several story lines. A 70 year-old man named Holberg is found murdered in his damp squalid basement apartment. The only clues are a cryptic and hastily scrawled note and the aged photograph of a 4 year-old's grave. Inspector Erlendur of the Icelandic investigation unit and his team learn that the 4 year ol...more
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this mystery. A cop story set in Iceland, it features Police Detective Erlendur and his team of Sigurdur Oli and Elinburg. A man is murdered and the investigation leads them to previous rapes and a story involving genetics and hereditary disease. I had some difficulties with the overall plot, there were some great leaps of deduction made by Erlendur as he tracks down clues and the suspects. At the same time, there were interesting characters and I especially...more
This is the second Erlendur novel I've read. He certainly is a developed character, if not much likeable. Well, by me, anyway. And the Eva Lind line is my biggest gripe in this series. Junkie stories are nearly all alike wherever they may be.

What I liked the most in this one was the Icelandic locale description and police procedure methods. Tapping phones for a 40 plus year "possible" rape, breaking up entire buildings for a search over a 35 year old case of missing person? Could it be anything...more
Felix Zilich
В пригороде Рекъявика убит живущий в подвале старик. Неизвестный пришел в его дом, разуваться не стал, просто взял пепельницу и проломил деду череп. Еще записку оставил странную - “я это он”. Одним словом, чисто исландское убийство. Тупое, кровавое и совершенно беспонтовое.

Но есть момент, который не даёт инспектору Эрлендуру Свенссону покоя. И это вовсе не записка, а фотка детской могилки, обнаруженная за комодом. Почти сорок лет назад убитый изнасиловал женщину, но преступление сошло ему с рук...more
Clearing up the wrongs of the past seems the overarching theme of the Erlendur series; I've only read one before (Hypothermia), but blurb for most of the others points to something similar. When your entire country has a population around the same as Reading or Birkenhead*, with a considerably lower crime rate than either, the need for historic cases and old remains to add complexity makes sense if you're going to make even a slight nod to realism in detective novels.

Read slowly, the simple sent...more
Alan Chen
I picked up this Icelandic mystery because I hoped it would be similar to norwegian mysteries I enjoyed, think harry hole and dragon tattoo. There was nothing wrong with the story but I found the writing style to be simplistic and dull. It didn't resonate. The series I mentioned are both dark with unpleasant characters but I still found them to be sympathetic. I'm uncertain if it's the translator or the author's fault but the novel was mostly in short sentences, had very little description of th...more
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Nordic Noir: * Jar City - NO SPOILERS 23 80 Jul 05, 2014 05:52PM  
Nordic Noir: * Jar City - SPOILERS 39 101 Feb 06, 2013 10:26AM  
  • Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2)
  • My Soul to Take
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  • Roseanna (Martin Beck #1)
  • Death Angels (Inspector Winter, #1)
  • Lucifer's Tears (Inspector Kari Vaara, #2)
  • The Cruel Stars of the Night (Ann Lindell, #6)
Arnaldur was born in Reykjavík on 28 January 1961, the son of writer Indriði G. Þorsteinsson. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Iceland in 1996. He worked as a journalist for the newspaper Morgunblaðið from 1981 to 1982, and later as a freelance writer. From 1986 to 2001, he was a film critic for Morgunblaðið.

His first book, Synir duftsins (Sons of Dust) came out in 1997...more
More about Arnaldur Indriðason...
Silence of the Grave (Inspector Erlendur #4) The Draining Lake (Inspector Erlendur #6) Voices (Inspector Erlendur #5) Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7) Hypothermia (Inspector Erlendur #8)

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“Erlendur didn’t believe in premonitions, visions or dreams, nor reincarnation or karma, he didn’t believe in God although he’d often
read the Bible, nor in eternal life or that his conduct in this world would affect whether he went to heaven or hell. He felt that life itself offered a
mixture of the two.”
“Erlendur didn’t believe in premonitions, visions or dreams, nor reincarnation or karma, he didn’t believe in God although he’d often read the Bible, nor in eternal life or that his conduct in this world would affect whether he went to heaven or hell. He felt that life itself offered a mixture of the two.
Then sometimes he experienced this incomprehensible and supernatural de´ja` -vu, experienced time and place as if he’d seen it all before, as if he stepped outside himself, became an onlooker to his own life. There was no way he could explain what it was that
happened or why his mind played tricks on him like this.”
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