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Black Skies (Inspector Erlendur #10)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  3,024 Ratings  ·  332 Reviews
A man is making a crude leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves, and he has revenge in mind.





Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force. While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, his relationship is on the rocks and soon even h
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Hardcover, 330 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Harvill Secker - Random House (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Michael
Sep 18, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: harry roolaart
I appreciate the subtle art in the construction of this police procedural set in Iceland. The plot concerns the bludgeoning murder of a woman accountant known to be involved with her husband in wife swapping. The protagonist in this 10th novel in a series is Sigurdur Óli, a colleague of the usual lead detective, Erlendur, whom I encountered in “Jar City.” He is ordinary in many ways, not brilliant, notably courageous, or driven by ideals, but he doggedly works to get the job done. He discovers t ...more
Carolyn
Jul 05, 2012 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnaldur was quoted in an interview recently as saying:
"I have no understanding of financial markets but I understand that people can be greedy."
For an author who claims little understanding, he has probably written a more lucid and accurate account of the reasons behind Iceland's 2008 crash than anything else I have read. Cheap off-shore credit, poor government oversight and regulation, shonky financial products and the whole neoliberal economic philosophy (even Milton Freidman is obliquely ref
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Barbara
May 15, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though nominally an Inspector Erlendur novel the detective in this book is his team member, Sigurdur Óli. In Reykjavík, Iceland, Detective Sigurdur Óli is approached for a favor by his friend Patrekur. It seems that Patrekur's sister-in-law and her husband have engaged in a spot of wife swapping and are being blackmailed by another swinger couple, Lina and Ebbi. Patrekur asks Sigurdar Óli to pressure the blackmailers to back off and to get their incriminating photos.

Sigurdur Óli goes to the cou
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Tanja Berg
Since I reserve 1* rating for books I hate, this gets 2. Huge disappointment and total waste of time. I bought this book before I had a falling out with the author's works and it took me a long time before I picked it up. I wish I hadn't. I wish I'd just let it go unread. It is bleak, depressing and boring from start to finish. There is not a likeable character in sight. There is nothing wrong with the plotting and the theme - child pornography - is important, but nothing of value is added. Ther ...more
Melissa
Sep 24, 2012 Melissa rated it did not like it
What a mess of a book. I've really enjoyed this series until this book. In the course of the series, Sigurdur Oli was the character I liked the least and this story didn't help. He is a snob and a boring one at that. There doesn't seem any other police officers working other than the one that tells him off. As for the plot, it is so thin you can read a newspaper through it and that would probably be a better use of your time. The strands in which the two stories are intertwined are ridicously th ...more
Kristine Brancolini
Feb 01, 2014 Kristine Brancolini rated it really liked it
Like other fans of Erlendur, I was worried that a Erlendur mystery without Erlendur might fall a little flat. Plus, Erlendur's colleague Sigurdur Óli, the protagonist of Black Skies is not a very likeable character. Erlendur is endlessly morose and fascinating. That had not been my impression of boring Sigurdur Óli. Ok, I was wrong about all of this. I should have trusted Indriðason. Ostensibly about a murder that is the result of blackmail, there are really three crimes, two related and one unr ...more
Sarah
Jun 25, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crimepieces
The last book by Arnaldur Indridason, Outrage, saw the usual protagonist of the series, detective Erlunder disappear for an extended leave of absence and the investigation taken up by his female colleague, Elinborg. I enjoyed the book but missed the character of Erlunder so was slightly apprehensive when I noticed he had not yet returned for Black Skies. This time, the central police figure is Sigurdur Óli, known in previous books mainly for his attempts to become a parent with his partner Bergt ...more
Carol
Nov 11, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnaldur has a skill for developing characters, even though the characters are unlikable. Another thing I like about this writer is that the violence is off stage. (I am still kicking myself for reading Jo Nesbo, as I don't need his images in my head). Arnaldur's stories are gritty, but without graphic depictions of violence. He leaves it to the reader to fill in the blanks.

I was anxious to read a new “Inspector Erlendur novel” but he, himself, appeared nowhere. As a result, the entire novel fel
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Anna
I won a ARC for this book from Goodreads.
Awesome, a new Erlendur novel... Wait, it actually does say "an Inspector Erlendur novel" on the back cover (and "an Icelandic thriller" on the front). But there is no Erlendur here - other than his daughter searching for him in the beginning, and then Sigurdur and Finnur wondering where he is. Without Erlendur, how can this be "an Erlendur novel"?
What we have as the inspector is one of his colleagues instead, Sigurdur Oli. And while I had grown to slowl
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Chris
Sep 27, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-iceland
No Erlendur here, it's all Sigurdur Oli in this tale in which the moral of the story is: as a cop never do a favor for a friend. Siggi goes to talk to a woman who is blackmailing one of his friends with sexual pictures. He walks in on the woman lying on the floor and just misses becoming a victim himself. This plot line is the heart of the book and it goes along many twists and turns until it culminates. There are also some "unrelated" plot lines that end up leaving you wondering about the valid ...more
Jeffrey
Sep 03, 2012 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He's amazing, Indridason - sweet and soulful - I don't know another mystery writer except perhaps for Camilleri who is able to weave you so artfully into the lives of his characters, the setting, their moral dilemmas, the angst of being police detectives and, of course, the crimes themselves - here he takes us into the world of Sigurdur Oli, as Outrage took us into the world of Elinborg (this book more or less takes place in the same moment as Outrage!) - the breakup of his marriage, his to the ...more
Aisling
Aug 22, 2013 Aisling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Indridason so far. There is something very readable about this series. One of the main plots is grim (the death mask) yet Indridason presents it in a new light and the reader will be deeply moved by the conclusion. Simultaneously the reader is presented with a cautionary tale of greed complicated by police force politics. A third light hearted plotline about someone stealing a newspaper and Sigurdur Oli's personal life round out a great read. Fans of this series will not be disappoin ...more
Tom Donaghey
Feb 14, 2017 Tom Donaghey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense, nordic
BLACK SKIES by Arnaldur Indrioason is his ninth Nordic noir mystery set in Reykjavik, Iceland. It is part of the Inspector Erlendur series but this time out the Inspector is on holiday. In his place is Sigurdur Oli, another detective. When Oli is asked by a long time friend to help a third party with a minor problem, Oli reluctantly agrees.
It seems the friend and his wife are something of a swinging couple who managed to hook up with the wrong pair. The result is a blackmail threat via photos
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Ellemir
Dieser Roman war gut lesbar, aber ihm fehlt die Faszination der anderen Romane aus der Reihe. Der Protagonist Sigidur Oli war für mich bisher immer der uninteressanteste Charakter im Team und dieses Buch macht das nicht besser. Er wird weder interessanter noch sympathischer. Die Probleme in seinem Privatleben (das komplizierte Verhältnis zu seinen Eltern, seine gerade zerbrochene Beziehung) werden eher oberflächlich angerissen, auch wenn sie viel Raum im Roman annehmen

Der Fall, den er zu lösen h
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Dorothy
If Sigurður Óli lived in 2016 America, he'd be a yuge Donald Trump supporter. He would attend the rallies (probably wearing a tee shirt with the Confederate flag emblazoned on it) and would happily participate in the evicting and maybe roughing up of any protesters or Muslims who dare to show up. He is an angry right-winger who is dissatisfied with the way Icelandic society is going. It's letting in too many immigrants. It's providing too strong a safety net. It's too soft on crime.

That last one
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Richard
Jul 25, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it
Yet another very readable crime mystery by the great storyteller Arnaldur Indridason.Where other authors quickly return to their familiar and popular crime detectives to lead their stories, often bringing them back from the dead, Indridason leaves Erlunder literally in the wilderness, the back and beyond of Iceland, finding himself. So we have the quality of his writing to carry the book. In the previous one set at the set time Elinborg takes the lead, while here it falls upon Sigurdur Oli carri ...more
Robin
Oct 03, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why this is called An Inspector Erlendur novel is hard to fathom. Like the previous novel in this series, Outrage, Erlendur does not appear, but one of his lieutenants, Sigurdur Oli, takes centre stage (it was Elinborg in the last book).

At first, Erlendur fans may feel let down, and these two novels for me are not as compelling as Erlendur's story. But this is still well worth reading. Oli is the least sympathetic of the trio of detectives, and at first I wondered how Indidason was going to get
...more
Joel Brown
Oct 02, 2013 Joel Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the Jonathan Kellerman book I just reviewed, where he seemed to be going through the motions, this was a joy to read. Well, except for the violence and perversion. But murder mystery fans know what I mean. Arnaldur Indriðason is just about the best thing going now in procedural mysteries, with the bonus of exploring the unfamiliar Icelandic setting.

This is the second book in a row where his main detective, the brooding Erlendur, is offstage on some sort of mysterious "vacation"/visio
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Ed
Aug 25, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't impressed with "Jar City" mainly because I found the pace too slow for my taste but I could no longer continue to ignore Arnaldur Indridason's Inspector Erlandur's exceptionally good reviews by my GR Friends. Inspector Erlandur is otherwise occupied here so the action falls to Inspector Sigurdur Oli. Sigurdur is approached by an old school friend to help retrieve some pictures for a friend that is apparently a victim in a blackmail scheme. Sigurdur agrees to help but by not reporting th ...more
Mary


This novel concerns several "mysteries"--the murder of slutty Lina, the agony of Andres, and the disappearance of Thorfinnur. Oh, and in a humorous little side-story, the thievery of Gudmunda's newspaper. Sigurdur Oli grumbles his way through the investigation(s) while coming to terms with his split from Bergthora. (Don't you just love these Icelandic names?) I found the story of Andres very compelling and sad and would've liked to read a bit more about him and less about the financial shenaniga
...more
Nancy Oakes
For the long review, click on through. With Black Skies, as usual, Indridason gives his readers a novel that is well worth the wait since the last one. In the previous novel, Outrage, Elinborg was the star of the show; this time it's Sigurdur Oli in the limelight as he tries to figure out who is behind the very savage beating of a blackmailer. Even without Erlendur (who I'm really missing now), it's a really good read, one I can definitely recommend to readers of Scandinavian crime fiction. A wo ...more
Shari
Nov 23, 2015 Shari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled as an Inspector Erlendur novel, Erlendur was nowhere in sight, but for concerns about his whereabouts and speculations as to where he might be. Sigurdur Oli is the investigator in this outing, who is trying to come to terms with the end of his marriage, with an inflexible outspoken mother who is divorced from his easygoing father who announces he is suffering from prostate cancer, in short, several personal problems that can get in the way of his thinking. He is further plagued by an o ...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
This latest of the series, is quite good and Sigurdur Oli heads up this investigation. When a friend of his asks him to help his wifes brother in-law and sister, who are being blackmailed as a result of a Swingers group they were involved in, against his better judgement he agrees to call on the blackmailing couple in question to have a word and arrives to find the lady in question, in a pool of blood in her home. The attacker is still in the house and he hits Sigurdur with a baseball bat and es ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Love these books - but I miss Erlendur
In this novel, the focus is on Sigurdur Oli whose marriage is falling apart and his personal life is in a bit of turmoil. We get a bit more perspective on this man who is known for his detachment. In this novel he shows total integrity and dedication. Besides, he encounters some gross injustices in this book that teach him a measure of compassion.
The story in this novel starts when Sigurdur does a favour for a friend and it turns into his being a (reluctant)
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Linda Prieskorn
Oct 18, 2013 Linda Prieskorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the last of the series that has been released in the states. The book featured Sigudur Oli, Erlendur is still on leave. Sigundur is the least affable of the three detectives on the team. He is arrogant and classist. His wife has left him because of his callous feelings about her inability to conceive. Inspite of his unfeeling characteristics, one of Icelands homeless finds him a great confidante, this is the basis for solving one of the dark crimes in the book. Another of the crimes he m ...more
Dagný
Aug 05, 2010 Dagný rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnaldurs latest. It features some of the Icelandic financial debacle's backstories. It also showcases the younger male detective from the trio his books feature. This guy is the opposite of the "old fashioned" lead detective, he's a man of style and impatience with old Iceland (vs his companion who'd be eating sheep's head and wearing lopapeysa and search the mountains for the bones of his long lost brother); This fellow's favorite pastime is watching American football. But he cares, and here, ...more
Robert Intriago
Jun 29, 2012 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-i, 2012
I enjoyed this as much as his previous book. This is the second book in which Erlunder does not participate. Instead Detective Oli is the main character and Indridason does a wonderful job building a complete picture of his personality. He did this for the female detective in "Outrage" and I appreciate the fact that in the future when Erlunder returns these two detectives will return to their supporting roles, but will not go unappreciated. I think the author does a wonderful job of transitionin ...more
Barbpie
Oct 25, 2013 Barbpie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic
Erlendur is on leave in Eastern Iceland and never appears at all in Black Skies although he is mentioned from time to time by his colleagues. Sigurdur Oli is left to try and solve a case of blackmail and murder among the members of a swingers club, some of whom are old school friends of his. Meanwhile, Siggi (he hates to be called that!) has heard from his dad that he is in a risk group for prostate cancer. Bad things happen in threes and to add insult to injury, his ex Bergthora is seeing someo ...more
Abi
Sep 01, 2010 Abi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21st-century, iceland
This was contemporaneous with Myrká, except focused on Sigurður Óli's case (a woman's head is stoved in with a baseball bat almost right in front of Sigurður Óli's nose, and it looks like a case of extortion gone too far). With this one, Arnaldur is really having a go at the Icelandic bankers and entrepenneurs behind the economic collapse. There's also a disturbing subplot involving paedophilia that doesn't quite tie in with the rest of the novel (although there is a tenuous link). For my money, ...more
Katri
Jun 26, 2016 Katri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Ehdottomasti "huonoin" Arnaldurin dekkari. Muut olen lukenut päivässä tai parissa ja nyt tahkosin tätä ikuisuuden (ilman muuton tuomaa taukoakin!).

Arnaldurin dekkareiden päähenkilö on normaalisti Erlendur, mutta nyt pari kirjaa ovat olleet hänen kollegoidensa näkökulmasta kerrotut ja äsh, edellinen oli ihan hyvä, tämä ei.

Ehkä hetkeksi olen lukenut tarpeeksi ja vähän ylikin dekkareita, seuraavaksi jotain ihan muuta.
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Some period of time arm the way the 1 4 Apr 14, 2015 10:28PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine book by Arnaldur Indriðason 2 20 Jun 09, 2012 03:30AM  
  • Someone to Watch Over Me
  • Der Tote vom Strand. (Inspector Van Veeteren #8)
  • Autumn Killing
  • Till offer åt Molok (Rebecka Martinsson, #5)
  • Dregs (William Wisting #6)
  • Blodläge
  • Never End (Inspector Winter, #4)
  • Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (Hanne Wilhelmsen #2)
  • The Hand That Trembles
  • The Water's Edge (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #8)
  • Season of the Witch (Einar, #4)
  • House of Evidence
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Arnaldur Indridason (b.1961) has the rare distinction of having won the Nordic Crime Novel Prize two years running. He is also the winner of the highly respected and world famous CWA Gold Dagger Award for the top crime novel of the year in the English language, Silence of the Grave.
Indridason’s novels have sold over twelve million copies worldwide, in 40 languages, and have won numerous well-resp
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More about Arnaldur Indriðason...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Erlendur (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Menschensöhne (Inspector Erlendur #1)
  • Dauðarósir (Inspector Erlendur #2)
  • Jar City (Inspector Erlendur #3)
  • Silence of the Grave (Inspector Erlendur #4)
  • Voices (Inspector Erlendur #5)
  • The Draining Lake (Inspector Erlendur #6)
  • Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)
  • Hypothermia (Inspector Erlendur #8)
  • Outrage (Inspector Erlendur #9)
  • Furðustrandir (Inspector Erlendur #11)

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“It was not like the old days and they both knew it. They were weighed down by the awareness of their failed relationship, of the wasted years, of the feelings that were no more, of the shared life that had unravelled. They were like weary receivers winding up a bankruptcy; all that remained was to tie up the loose ends and settle the final claims." (Black Skies)” 2 likes
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