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Black Skies (Inspector Erlendur #10)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,837 ratings  ·  240 reviews
A suspected blackmailer is found murdered in this gripping crime story from the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger winner, Arnaldur Indridason.
Detective Sigurdur Oli is in trouble.
After a school reunion exposes the chasm between his life and those of his much more successful contemporaries, leaving him bitter and resentful, one of his old friends asks him to pay an
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published September 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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Oct 19, 2013 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
Kristine Brancolini
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
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
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
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

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
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 ...more
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
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
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
Joel Brown
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
Andy Plonka
As with most of the books I've read by this author this is a fast paced police procedural featuring a flawed but essentially good Icelandic cop. This entry involves money laundering and Ponzi schemes which got a lot of press when this book was written.
Linda Prieskorn
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
Robert Intriago
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
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
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
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
Tim Freeman
I put down this book after about 30 pages, but not for the reason you might think. I wasn't aware that the author had ventured off in stories as seen by Inspector Erlendur's colleagues. In fact no matter what it says up there in the graphic, this is NOT "Black Skies : an Inspector Erlendur Novel ", the author has done this before with a novel from the POV of his female collegue (whose name I forget) which I quite enjoyed. However I never really liked Sigurdur Óli, so finding out the novel was ba ...more
Nur ein Gefallen

Erlendur ist im Urlaub, deshalb muss sich Sigurdur Oli alleine damit beschäftigen, was es mit der Bitte seines Schulfreundes auf sich hat. Dieser berichtet, die Schwester seiner Frau und deren Mann würden erpresst. Sie seien vor Jahren mal zu einer Swinger-Party gegangen und nun drohe jemand damit, Fotos ins Netz zu stellen. Eigentlich will Oli solche private Ermittlungen nicht übernehmen, doch wegen der alten Bekanntschaft lässt er sich überreden. Gerade als er das Haus der verm
3 stars. I guess that this book is taking place simultaneously with Outrage, as Erlendur is away and Erlinborg is working on "that murder in Thingolt". Erlendur's other primary assistant, Siglundur Oli, is the main character in this mystery, and once again there is a distinct difference in mood. This book has a different translator, so I am unsure how much that influences the mood... Oli was the one of the 3 main police characters in this series I liked the least but, although I am not sure that ...more
I hate this five-star ranking system, and I therefore rank my entries on a bell-shaped curve: one star for books so bad that that you should not read them, two stars for books that are not a complete waste time, three stars for the vast preponderance of books that are a good read, four stars for books you really ought to read because they offer something out of the ordinary, and five stars for books that are so important you must read them — and all of that is very subjective and very much my pe ...more

4.0 out of 5 stars A great series but someone is missing in action, February 15, 2014

This review is from: Black Skies: An Inspector Erlendur Novel (An Inspector Erlendur Series)

I really appreciate this series. It's frank without becoming dull and goes into details in each characters life.
In this story Oli's personal relationships are under scrutiny. Realism is part of this authors genre without compromise.

Oli is faced with the fact that his life on the police force has not met up to his expecta
Kathleen Hagen
Black Skies, by Arnaldur Indridason, a-minus, Narrated by George Guidall, Produced by Recorded Books, Downloaded from

Publisher’s Note says it as well as I can.
A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron
spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a 'death mask', once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind. Meanwhile,
with Detective Erlendur absent, his baseball-loving colleague Sigurdur Óli is in the spotlight. A
Andrew Anderson
Like Outrage, Black Skies is a Detective Erlendur novel in which our beloved Icelandic detective is still posted missing; it is the turn of Sigurður Óli to take the lead this time.

Unable to conceive, Sigurður’s marriage to Bergortha has broken down, with his wife moving on to another man soon after the separation. He is also growing disillusioned with life as a police officer, following a miserable school reunion where he is surrounded by the wealthy beneficiaries of Iceland’s booming economy.

Tom Johnson
only Arnaldur's JAR CITY and SILENCE OF THE GRAVE are better - there is power in the book's theme - Arnaldur has much fun with his angry man, the priggish Oli - & much wicked humor, I found myself laughing aloud throughout the read - page 92, Siggi's dad says, "they've found something in my prostate", drat, they've something in mine too and now I must read two books that I've ordered on what to do about it. I will be resisting the knife, that much I know, just odd how after finding this out ...more
This time Arnaldur has placed Detective Sigurdur Oli at the centre of this novel while Erlendur is still away on some mysterious leave of absence. It was much harder to like him than Elinburg in "Outrage". He really is a bit of an ass both in his personal and professional life.

The mystery itself is quite interesting since Arnaldur places it in the context of the economic boom in Iceland before the big crash a few years ago. He also creates interesting links between the three cases that are invol
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Some period of time arm the way the 1 2 Apr 14, 2015 10:28PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Combine book by Arnaldur Indriðason 2 20 Jun 09, 2012 03:30AM  
  • The Day is Dark (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #4)
  • Blodläge (The Öland Quartet #3)
  • Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)
  • Dregs (William Wisting #6)
  • Bad Intentions
  • Cold Comfort (Officer Gunnhilder #2)
  • Never End (Inspector Winter, #4)
  • Blind Goddess (Hanne Wilhelmsen #1)
  • Summer Death
  • Till offer åt Molok (Rebecka Martinsson, #5)
  • Night Rounds (Inspector Huss #2)
  • Black Lies, Red Blood (Ann Lindell Mystery #9)
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 about Arnaldur Indriðason...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Erlendur (1 - 10 of 13 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)
Jar City (Inspector Erlendur #3) Silence of the Grave (Inspector Erlendur #4) The Draining Lake (Inspector Erlendur #6) Voices (Inspector Erlendur #5) Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)

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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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