Cait's Reviews > Hypothermia

Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason
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Dec 10, 10

bookshelves: first-reads, mystery, owned, read-in-2010, cold-weather-reading
Read from August 11 to December 08, 2010

I am one of only 10 or so people - worldwide, it seems - who thought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sucked. I'm ok with that. The world would be a boringplaceifwealllikedthesameblah blah blah. But it did make me wonder, am I somehow missing the chromosome that is responsible for enjoyment of Scandinavian and Nordic crime fiction? Because people love this book. I entered the Good Reads giveaway for a copy of Hypothermia with the intent of answering that question. Plus, the description sounded pretty cool.

Guess what? Arnaldur came through! This book is actually the 8th in a series, but I didn't feel out of the loop by having not read the previous books (some of which I don't think are translated to english yet). The central mystery of this story is interesting: the victim is a suicide. Inspector Erlendur embarks on an unofficial investigation in the hopes of understanding just what drove this woman to such an end. Erlendur himself has a back story that's just as compelling, if not more.

I used to read a lot of crime fiction when I was younger. Not the hardboiled variety, more the CSI/Law & Order kind. I attribute that to the dream I had of one day becoming a criminal profiler for the FBI (until I realized I was to chickenshit to become a cop). John E. Douglas is still one of my personal heroes. My aspirations have since turned to medicine - primarily pathology - but it all boils down to the same interests. I like the puzzle. The helping people part is cool and all, and a really great bonus, but the assembling of clues and seemingly random bits of information into one coherent story is what really pumps my nads.

Arnaldur does this well in Hypothermia. Even when I knew where all of the puzzle pieces would go - and I fully believe it was not due to my stellar deductive reasoning, but because it was Arnaldur's intention all along - I was still just as interested in seeing them fall into place. I think what I liked most, though, was the atmosphere Arnuldur evoked. If I had synesthesia, I would probably describe this book as gray.

I began to gravitate away from genre fiction years ago*, but books like this remind me of how moronic it is to disregard entire classes of books rather than judge them individually on their own merit. Arnaldur has not only induced me to read more of his work, but he has also managed to renew my desire to read some of the other similar books on my shelves: Faceless Killers, Echoes from the Dead, The Unit, to name a few. So yeah, regarding Stieg Larsson? I guess I'm just weird like that.

*Embarrassing confession. I remember the moment this gravitation began. I was at the library in 1999, looking for a Patricia Cornwell book (shut up) when, due to the alphabetical vicinity, I came across Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma. The rest is history.
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Marieke (new) - added it

Marieke I like the puzzle. The helping people part is cool and all, and a really great bonus, but the assembling of clues and seemingly random bits of information into one coherent story is what really pumps my nads.

YES!

:D


message 2: by JSou (new)

JSou Confession: I read Nora Roberts in the 90's. More than one.

Great review!


message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz  I read Faceless Killers and The Unit in the last few months. I really enjoyed The Unit- I recommend it for sure.


Cindy Nice! After reading Hypothermia, I want to read Jar City. Have you read it?


message 5: by Marieke (new) - added it

Marieke Oooo I have jar city but I haven't read it.


message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Love your review.
(From another non-Stieg Larsson fan.BTW, just whizzed through Three Seconds by Roslund & Hellstrom. Also way better than any Larsson.


Cait Jessica wrote: "Confession: I read Nora Roberts in the 90's. More than one.

Great review!"


Ha! I somehow managed to bypass both her and Danielle Steel. :oD


Cait Liz Vegas wrote: "I read Faceless Killers and The Unit in the last few months. I really enjoyed The Unit- I recommend it for sure."

Thanks Liz. I have a copy of The Unit on hold for me at the library as I type. The premise sounds really intriguing. In fact, I believe it was your review that made me put it on my tbr in the first place!


Cait Cindy and Marieke, I haven't read Jar City yet, but I did add it to my tbr today. That one sounds really good too.


message 10: by Cait (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cait Mark wrote: "Love your review.
(From another non-Stieg Larsson fan.BTW, just whizzed through Three Seconds by Roslund & Hellstrom. Also way better than any Larsson."


Thanks Mark, and yay for another non-Stieg Larsson fan. We are so few and far between. I have another GR friend - Petra I think - who just read and loved Three Seconds. I will have to keep an eye out for it in January.


Cindy I'm so glad you're reading The Unit soon, Cait!


message 12: by Jaime (new) - added it

Jaime I'm with you. Not crazy about the two Larsson books I've read, but I have enjoyed other Scandinavian literature such as The Unit and Jar City, and the Wallander novels, too. There is a definite bleak tone to Scan Lit that will not appeal to all, but if you like it, I suggest you check out Let The Right One In, by John Lindqvist.


message 13: by Marieke (new) - added it

Marieke i've only seen the Wallander TV shows and love them; i fully intend to read all the books. i listened to the Stieg Larsson books in audio and loved them that way...it sounds like i've started at the bottom of the barrel of Scandinavian crime literature and everything i read next will be terrific. :D


message 14: by Marieke (new) - added it

Marieke a friend of mine recently discovered The Snowman...really liked it.


message 15: by Jaime (new) - added it

Jaime Marieke, I see it's garnering great reviews. Although I'm pretty weary of serial killers in stories, I'm adding it to my list and will look at the author's other titles, too. Thanks for mentioning it!


message 16: by Marieke (new) - added it

Marieke Jaime wrote: "Marieke, I see it's garnering great reviews. Although I'm pretty weary of serial killers in stories, I'm adding it to my list and will look at the author's other titles, too. Thanks for mentioning it!"

haha! i guess haven't gotten my fill of serial killers yet...


message 17: by Cait (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cait I still can't get over the fact that the protagonist's name (in The Snowman) is Harry Hole.

Jaime, I loved Let the Right One In! I'm hoping to read Handling the Undead very soon.

I am one of those weird people who love living in the doom and gloom of the Pacific Northwest, so I guess it's not surprising that I have a fondness for bleak and depressing literature.


message 18: by Jaime (new) - added it

Jaime I'm with you on the rain and fog of the Northwest. That's just the right kind of climate for me!


message 19: by Scott (new)

Scott Bagley Count me in as one more who thinks "Tattoo" sucks.


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