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Arctic Chill (Inspector Erlendur #7)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,424 Ratings  ·  454 Reviews
On an icy January day the Reykjavík police are called to a block of flats where a body has been found in the garden: a young, dark-skinned boy, frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The discovery of a stab wound in his stomach extinguishes any hope that this was a tragic accident. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation with little to go on but the n ...more
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2005)
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Jan 29, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the parasites of lemurs
Erlendur: D
mystery/thriller plotting: D-
writing: F
social commentary: D-
translation: F-

The entire murder mystery is utterly banal, the writing drab and unimaginative. I was going to say that Arnaldur really jumped the shark with this one (and that's just the type of stupid expression he and his translators would love) but I think he already did that with Voices. This is a translation that is oddly, bewilderingly, almost willfully subpar. Some examples:

A family sits down to a meal of "spaghetti wi
Toni Osborne
Jun 06, 2009 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it
5th book in the series starring detective Erlendur

This crime novel is another winner and surely will become a world wide hit. As usual Indridason writes about controversial topics that are relevant in today's society. This one raised issues of immigration, multiculturalism, racism and poverty.

The story starts when a ten-year-old boy of Thai origin is found dead, frozen to the sidewalk in a Reykjavík suburb in mid-January.
Taking on the challenge are our recurring heroes: Detective Erlendur and hi
Hassan Mohammed
إثرَ سقوط أحد أبناء الجاليات الأجنبية (الجالية التايلندية)، صريعاً مقتولاً سابحاً في بركةٍ من دمه الذي نزفه، يهرع المحققّون لكشف ملابسات القضية للوقوف على الفاعل وخلفيات الجريمة.

باعتقادي، أراد الكاتب أن أن يُسلّط الضوء على أوضاع الجاليات الأجنبية في أيسلندا، والذين يُسمّونهم بـ (المهاجرين). لكن، بدا لي بأنه (الكاتب) كمن يسير في حقل ألغام، لا يدري متى يخطو خطوةً واحدة تكلِّفه حياته، فهو يشير إلى أوضاع (المهاجرين) بإشارات هامشية وقليلة جداً، ربما لحساسية الموضوع لِما له من صِلة بإثارة التمييز العِ
Jun 15, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, iceland
After my doubts about The Draining Lake, it is good to see Arnaldur Indriðason concentrate on present-day Iceland, rather than an imagined East Germany in the 1960s. Like many European countries, Iceland has opened its borders to immigration, with some of the usual adverse results.

Arctic Chill opens with the discovery of the corpse of a ten-year-old schoolboy who has been stabbed in the stomach and left to die in the wintry streets of Reykjavik. The boy is the son of a Thai immigrant mother, wh
Oct 30, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, scandinavian
There are some authors who are on my buy immediately list. Some of these books I can happily hoard - waiting until just the right moment to sit and enjoy them. And there are the ones that are buy and read immediately. ARCTIC CHILL has definitely been one of those books. As soon as it arrived in the house it danced around before my eyes until I could finish what I was reading and start this one.

And you know when you've picked up a fabulous book because you find yourself sitting in the car, readin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
With the Iceland Noir conference coming up in November, now seemed as good a time as any to read another Erlendur novel, the first I've picked up since Voices, maybe six years ago. I wasn't overwhelmed by Voices, I will admit, but I really liked Erlendur as a detective, so such a long pause in the series does feel a bit strange to me. And for reasons I really can't remember, if I had them in the first place, I skipped over the next title in the series, The Draining Lake and went for this one ins ...more
Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason is the seventh book in a favorite series of mine. I love the locale-Iceland and I love the detectives, especially the lead detective, a withdrawn, introverted, anguished (of course) man named Erlendur, an alienated lone. Erlendur is estranged from his children whom he left 20 years earlier when he left a poisonous marriage. His daughter has become a drug addict with periodic lapses into sobriety. His son followed the same road but cleaned up. Both appear in th ...more
Feb 23, 2010 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would read any book by Arnaldur Indridason. In Arctic Chill there are simultaneous mysteries to solve. The worst case described is that of the murder of a young boy. There is also a missing wife and a hiding-in-plain-sight possible pedophile.

The thing that I love about Indridason's books though is not just the interesting plots but the continuing characters. This is the latest installment of the Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson series. Erlendur is a complex man and his team members, Sigurdur Oli
Νίκος Μ
Feb 27, 2016 Νίκος Μ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Κατώτερο απ'τα προηγούμενα,χωρίς αυτό να σημαίνει ότι δεν αξίζει να διαβαστεί.Περίμενα να έχει λίγη δράση,αγωνία,σασπένς ή ανατρεπτικό τέλος..Τίποτα τελικά.Κι αυτό το βιβλίο του Ιντρίντασον είναι περισσότερο κοινωνικό παρά αστυνομικό,το θέμα του είναι επίκαιρο λόγω της μετανάστευσης και του ρατσισμού που βιώνουν η θα βιώσουν οι άνθρωποι που θα φύγουν για μια καλύτερη ζωή
Jun 25, 2016 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason.

This is my 10th book in the Inspector Erlendur series and hoping it never ends.

A young Thai boy is found stabbed to death in the gardens by his family's apartment. Inspector Erlendur interviews members of his family regarding the child's friends and classmates. One indication of any problems surfaces within his school. A teacher appears to hold strong prejudices against immigrants coming into Iceland from Thailand. His prejudice opinions have spilled out in h
Feb 06, 2014 Mishehu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dateline February 5, 2014: Arctic Chill receives coveted "Slushee" for "WORST...SCANDINAVIAN...CRIME...NOVEL...EVER". Author A. Indridason noted for standout performance in "mediocrity of writing", "absurdity of story arc", "weakness of character development", "ignorance of police procedure", and "padding" categories. Arctic Chill is so quintessentially lame a book, no review could begin to do it justice. Any criticisms I might toss would merely be pebbles skimming the surface of this book's oce ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best Indridason to date. In this book, he has has turned away from his usual dismal stories of the detective's dysfunctional offspring and spent more time describing social conditions in Iceland nowadays. That's one of the great functions of novels, including detective stories like this one, written in, and set in, other countries. The characters interact in a given social setting and can comment on it. Iceland, like many other countries, has immigrants who are sufficiently distincti ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Sofia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jag läste den här till ett arbete i skolan. Den var okej, lite händelselös för att vara en deckare. Den hade dock en tvist på slutet som jag tyckte om och jag gillade sättet saker beskrevs på. Men den hade lite för lite spänning för att vara en deckare.
Feb 19, 2016 Margaret rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I admire the writers work on the subject of analyzing the social structure of a country and it's culture. But this is not a crime story. So if you re looking for a mystery or clues or guessing or surprises , don't read it!
I'm being generous in giving this book three stars. Two-and-a-half would probably be closer to the mark.

I think much of my problem with the book lay with its translation which seemed particularly ungainly and clumsy. So, I guess I'm giving the book the benefit of a doubt in thinking that I might have liked it better if I could have read it in the original Icelandic.

I don't think I would have liked Inspector Erlendur any better though. Really, every time I begin to warm up to the man, he does som
Aug 19, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First Icelandic mystery I have read. Impressed. Could feel the cold. Well written. Author certainly does not gloss over some of Iceland's citizen's attitudes towards immigrants. Not to say other cultures do not harbor same. Seems that Nordic authors are more open to the discussion of the changing culture mix of their countries.
Jun 12, 2016 Katri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Olipas nopeasti luettu, synkkä ja jännä dekkari. Pienen pojan puukotuksesta lukeminen ei ollut ihan helpointa, mutta kirja kuitenkin koukutti ja jotenkin kirjan synkkä tunnelma, jopa lohduttomuus jaksoi kiehtoa. Kuten aiempienkin Arnaldurin dekkareiden kohdalla. Ja mikä parasta - tai pahinta - en tälläkään kertaa osannut yhtään aavistella kuka tai mikä kaiken taustalla voisi olla. Arnaldur osaa johdatella lukijaa sopivalla tavalla harhaan niin, että mielenkiinto pysyy yllä.

Ihan harmittaa, ettei
Elan Durham
Mar 28, 2015 Elan Durham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erlendur, Arnaldur Indriðason's Chief Inspector Detective ferrets out, through his own relentless techniques, the secrets of a long-buried mystery in a small Icelandic community, and the solution to a private mystery: what happened to his dear younger brother decades before when a sudden blizzard hit the moors of Iceland ... taking him away from his family forever.

Arctic Chill is written in a contemplative way - reflective of a mind long accustomed to piecing together puzzling landscapes, almost
Catherine Woodman
I like this author, but this is not my favorite installment in the series--the main theme is mail-order brides from SE Asia, and the plight of this in ICelandic society--the fact that the women do not speak Icelandic and may never speak it all that well, that it is a culture that is very worried about maintaining it's uniqueness despite the relatively low numbers, and how this plays into their brand of racism. The murder victim is of mixed race, and the police go through a number of permutations ...more
Lourdes Venard
The fifth in the Erlendur series to be translated into English, this book opens with the murder of a young Thai boy – stabbed and left to die in the snow. His half-brother, meanwhile, is missing. A straight police procedural, the novel delves into anti-immigrant feelings in Iceland. Indridason also introduces another case into the novel: a missing woman, newly married. And the boy’s death also unveils part of Erlendur’s past: as a boy, he and brother were stuck in his blizzard. While Erlendur wa ...more
Sep 02, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in the Goodreads giveaway.
A young, Asian boy is found stabbed to death near his home and Reykjavik police detective Erlender investigates. He and his team then unearth tensions simmering underneath the surface of Iceland's multicultural society. There is also a tragedy in Erlendur's past that he supposedly is forced to confront now.
Since this was the first book I have read by the author, I had no schema concerning the main character, Erlendur. And since the author did really n
Not my favorite book of the series, but interesting nonetheless. This book dealt with the problems some immigrants, specifically Southeast Asian ones, have in adapting to Iceland. Meaning no disrespect to the Icelandic people themselves, I just can't imagine immigrating to a country that is so cold and dark in the winter. It must be even more difficult for someone from Southeast Asia to adapt. But back to the story. A young boy of Icelandic/Thai heritage is found stabbed to death outside an apar ...more
Sep 16, 2010 Seana rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Indridason. The subject of this one was particularly interesting, as it involved something I don't regularly think about in relation to Iceland--immigration. But of course Iceland has the same guest worker culture that all affluent countries have. In this case the interface between Thai and Icelandic cultures becomes the focus of a murder investigation.

Actually, I mispeak a bit--it's another aspect of "international relations" that brings these two communities together--the pheno
Tanja Berg
Well, that was that. It's more a 2.5* star rating than 3*. Many parts of the book were long winded and of little interest. The was too much about inspector Erlend's lost brother, without anything new entering the picture. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose a family member and never find the remains and I don't particularly enjoy having to consider it.

The story itself is otherwise mostly about the murder of a young thai school boy, Elias. The motive is elusive, but could be racist. Ther
Ellen Keim
Nov 11, 2013 Ellen Keim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book chilled me--literally! Arnaldur Indriðason writes about Iceland's harsh climate so vividly he makes me wonder why anyone would want to go there! And yet apparently Iceland has an immigrant problem, which the author also covers extensively.

I like the main characters in this series and it was good to see what they've been up to lately. It was also good to see some character development in the main character, Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson, and to get more of an idea of what makes him tick
Jul 07, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it
This is the fourth Indriðason I have read and it didn't disappoint. In this entry in the Erlendur series, a young boy who is half Thai and half Icelandic is found murdered and we are introduced to the issues of immigration and racism in Iceland. I like the fact that each book in this series has served to illuminate a different aspect of Icelandic society through the murder investigations but also have the common theme of missing persons, which is Erlendur's obsession. Although Erlendur muses the ...more
Jim Coughenour
Feb 16, 2009 Jim Coughenour rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who need a chill in their bones
This is the fifth book I've read by Arnaldur Indridason and the least compelling, in my opinion – but Indridason's low point is still superior to the typical police procedural. As always, Arctic Chill features the depressed detective Erlunder and his fellow policemen – so reading the earlier novels first will increase your appreciation for the characters. Jar City, the first in the series, is still my favorite and definitely worth checking out if you like crime fiction. (There's also an excellen ...more
Overall, a decent story. I was more engaged in the mystery this time around than I remember being in the last book. Erlendur has always felt like an unlikely hero--reclusive, private, rather miserable at relationships, and someone who would often rather just be home reading one of his books. He also vaguely sensitive--despite all his murder cases, the death and cruelty still shocks him a bit.

In some ways, I have a much clearer sense of Erlendur and the characters than I have in earlier books. I
Jan 15, 2014 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good tale, my favorite Indridason so far. The senseless murder of a 10-year-old Thai boy prompts Erlendur to delve back into his angst about the long-ago death of his little 8-year-old brother. The death of the Thai youngster intrudes into an ongoing investigation of a missing woman that has Erlendur thinking about marriage, and if the adultery of both partners can doom their marriage to failure. There are accusations of racism, concerns of locals over the possible dilution of the Iceland ...more
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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 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)
  • Hypothermia (Inspector Erlendur #8)
  • Outrage (Inspector Erlendur #9)
  • Black Skies (Inspector Erlendur, #10)
  • Furðustrandir (Inspector Erlendur #11)

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“Erlender thought about Marion Briem and their shared story, which was now at an end. He felt a sense of loss and regret... He thought about their relationship, the experiences they had shared,the story that was part of him, that he could not and would not have done without. It was him.” 2 likes
“Life was a random mass of unforeseeable coincidences that governed men’s fates like a storm that strikes without warning, causing injury and death.” 1 likes
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