Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík (Inspector Erlendur, #0)” as Want to Read:
Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík (Inspector Erlendur, #0)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík

(Young Inspector Erlendur #2)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  4,798 ratings  ·  567 reviews

Erlendur has recently joined the police force as a young officer and immediately sinks into the darkness of Reykjavik's underworld. Working nights, he discovers the city is full of car crashes, robberies, drinkers and fighters. And sometimes an unexplained death.


A homeless man Erlendur knows is found drowned. But few people care. Or when a young woman on
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published September 18th 2014 by Harvill Secker (first published 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Reykjavík Nights, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
bambu78 Nothing romantic, just a strong bond because they had experienced the same kind of loss.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,798 ratings  ·  567 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík (Inspector Erlendur, #0)
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christine Terrell
I purchased several books by Arnaldur Indriðason at our library book sale this winter, but rather than read them out of order, I decided to start with the prequel, Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík. This full-length novel, which is translated from Icelandic by Victoria Cribb, features traffic patrolman Erlendur Sveinsson.

Having just finished a five-book series filled with switchblade-wielding murderesses, rapists, and anarchist, this book was almost boring – or highly refreshing – take your
The proliferation of Scandinavian/Nordic crime fiction is fascinating to me. At first, I thought it was just a fad that would die out eventually, but no, it's still a big deal more than a decade later. And it should be too, because all the ones I have read have been great!

This book is by an author from Iceland and,naturally enough, is set in Iceland. It is actually a prequel to the main series which features Detective Erlendur. In this book, Erlendur is still a young traffic officer.

At the very
Nancy Oakes
I'm still playing catch up here -- I actually finished this book about a week ago.

As usual, you can certainly feel free to choose between the longer, more detailed review at my online reading journal or the shorter version here.

To my intense delight, Erlendur is back -- albeit as a young patrolman on the night shift -- in a prequel to the entire series. On his regular shift one night, young patrolman Erlendur receives a report that takes him to the scene of the drowning of a homeless man who
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Reykjavik nights, we are re-introduced to Inspector Erlendur, here a new, young policeman, on traffic detail, busting up small time crime--burglaries, drunken house parties, fisticuffs, the sort of crime that happens on his frequent night shifts. He also is coming to know the city better and the denizens of the night.

As in the later stories, Erlendur is different from his fellow officers and here we get a picture of both cause and effect---what drives him to seek answers and just how relentl
Diane S ☔
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a prequel to the Erlunder series, which has remained one of my favorite Nordic series. Was wonderful seeing the young Erlunder in the role of a traffic cop but how he still managed to put together things that had escaped others. The bones of the later Erlunder already in place. Not able to let go of something until it is solved to his satisfaction.

This plot revolved around a missing woman and a group of street people. Loved to see the compassion he had for these people, unable to stop d
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I ended up enjoying this story.
Erlendur is a young cop going about his own business. In the course of his duties, he befriends a homeless man and, when he dies in a drowning, begins to investigate.
This book starts slow but as the story moves along, I realized that the reader is slowly getting to know how this man thinks and works. We're being introduced to a young man who hasn't quite found his path in life.
This appears to be a character-driven series. This sort of series gets better as it go
Deb Jones
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
I'm thoroughly enjoying the many Icelandic and Scandinavian noir writers I've been reading, but oh my! trying to pronounce people and place names in my head as I read is a puzzle. That said, this little peccadillo is nothing to keep away readers.

Reykjavik Nights introduces Inspector Erlendur during his earliest days on the police force. As readers, we get to watch as Erlendur develops as a young man and as an investigator, albeit an unofficial investigation.

Moderately-paced plot with a number o
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge
I found this a bit disappointing. I've read several other Erlendur novels and have always found them extremely atmospheric. I found this one rather matter of fact. It was interesting to read this prequel, and find out how Erlendur started as a detective. However, if this had been the first of the books that I read, I doubt if I would have read further. ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chronologically, the last we knew of Erlendur, the police detective of Arnaldur's series, he was (perhaps forever) searching for the remains of his younger brother. ( As young boys they got lost in a wilderness snowstorm and inadvertently separated, Erlendur has never given up the search for his lost brother.) This (chronological) last sighting of Erlendur was in Furðustrandir (Strange Shores). The next to last book in the series, The Chess Match, instead featured a young Erlendur back in the be ...more
Alex Cantone
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018, crime
After a while a bus arrived and Thuri stood up, saying a curt goodbye as if she wanted nothing more to do with Erlendur. The sky was leaden and it was raining again. He watched her climb aboard and select a window seat, ready to carry on circling the city with no destination, never leaving the vehicle, not caring where it went: her life a journey without purpose. As Erlendur followed the departing bus with his eyes, he pictured himself in her shoes, forever circling around life, alone, with no d ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to read a copy of Reykjavik Nights. 3 1/2 stars. I've been meaning to read Indridason's series for a long time, so when an opportunity to read his newest book came up, I was delighted. But I was a bit apprehensive because I tend to be a bit obsessive about reading mystery series in order. I thought this book could be an exception because it's a prequel. It takes place in the early years of Erlendur's career. So I read it without having ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, nordic-crime
A sort of origin tale for Inspector Erlender. At this point he's a traffic cop, obsessed with tales of weird disappearances, when a homeless man he knows is drowned. Erlender puts these two interests together, and starts poking around.

Not bad. Shows the Nordic countries aren't the heavens on earth we get told about in the news.
Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason.

I've read 9 of the books in the Inspector Erlendur series when he was already a first rate detective. The author brings us, the reader, back to Erlendur's beginnings as a traffic officer. We first learn of Erlendur's fascination with missing people. His relentless search for the truth.

Erlendur along with two other night officers have the worst of the worst to deal with each night on their patrol. One of the homeless men he's dealt with was found drowned an
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book but not as much as his others when Erlander was a bit more complete a person. It was an ok crime but unsatisfactory resolution. Erlander is too sharp for such a new cop and his obsession to find the killer seemed a bit unnatural for such a junior officer. But I love him anyhow and will read anything he is in
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is the latest novel featuring Erlunder Sveinsson, it is also the earliest – taking Erlunder back to his days as a young junior officer on the beat. The novel begins with three boys finding a body in the water, which turns out to be a tramp, called Hannibal. Erlunder had come across Hannibal during his time on the streets, but, it seems, that only he thought there was something curious about his death. It was chalked down to drowning while drunk – and, knowing how the homeless man w ...more
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"His thoughts shifted to the Reykjavik nights, so strangely sunny and bright, yet in another sense so dark and desperate (...) Some the night provoked and seduced; others it wounded and terrified" (p. 59)

I am a loyal fan of Arnaldur Indridason's work and I've devoured all his novels, either in the Inspector Erlendur series or standalones, except "Operation Napoleon". The Erlendur series is one of my all-time favorites as through the course of 11 books in total, from "Jar City" to the brilliant
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Erlendur series consists of 14 books now, I believe. This prequel was published in 2012 whereas the one book I had previously read, Jar City, was published in 2000. Apparently a movie was made out of that book, one I have not seen.
Had the prequel started off the series I do believe it would have fallen off a very steep hill into oblivion. Reading the book was a chore. I am one who does not like thrillers, but now I know the exact opposite having read this slow-motion novel. Drip, drip, drip.
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A clear 4 stars for me

Author Indridason is on form with this prequel series.

Wasn’t sure I was going to warm to an earlier version of his detective Erlendur but its great as we delve straight into the mystery & only slightly explore the beginnings of the detectives character which is as we love & know a little dour & self-absorbed at best!

The story is all about the mystery & revolves around two "unsolved" crimes/disappearances which sees Erlendur sleuthing in his downtime as a traffic cop. The
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was waiting for me when I got home yesterday afternoon and my husband didn't need telling: he just ordered a takeaway as I disappeared into the bedroom for the next few hours.

This is a simpler and slightly more upbeat narrative than some in the Erlendur saga, especially compared with 'Strange Shores'. Certainly, tragedy exists, in the spiritual and physical downfall of Hannibal, but there is nowhere near the existential hopelessness and despair that confronted the reader in 'Strange Sh
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
One of my favourite detective series are the Inspector Erlendur novels by Arnaldur Indriðason. I was delighted therefore to learn of a prequel set in Reykjavík in the late 1960s.
I was equally keen to read it and having done so was so pleased to see the same methodical detective but now only partially formed, just a young cop learning his way on the night shifts. In uniform chasing down speeding motorists, responding to domestics and break-ins, even escorting the odd drunk to a place of refuge or
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Prequel to the author's exceptional Icelandic mystery series finds a young Erlendur working as a traffic cop in Reykjavik. A homeless man is found dead in a pool of stagnant water on the same night a young married woman goes missing. The woman's disappearance takes official priority and the homeless man's death ruled accidental but Erlendur recognizes the man from previous encounters and begins an unofficial investigation on his own time.

Still haunted by the tragic death of his younger brother
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Nice to find a new author that makes reading so enjoyable. Set In Reykjavík a young policeman called Erlendur is drawn into investigating a tramp who was found apparently drowned in a pond. Hannibal the tramp was someone he met a few times in the course of his duties. At the same time a woman disappeared after a party.

The prose by the author is so easy to read. Always a good sign. I really enjoyed book. So many suspects and some great red herrings. Was it the two brothers, her husband, her
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the whole series so far, going back to Erlendur's beginning seems a little strange. A good story and lots of back-filling with information and background about him. You can sense him evolving into what he becomes later. I am looking forward to Erlendur #2 (since volumes 3 and on were published first). Recommended. ...more
Charlene Intriago
Really good police procedural story. Erlander is a pretty good sleuth, never giving up. The author did a great job of taking the reader down many different paths until we finally know who "done it". I liked that. ...more
Berit Lundqvist
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Three and a half stars, rounded up.

Welcome to the vodka belt and to the underbelly of Reykjavik.

Erlendur has recently started to work as a traffic officer at the Reykjavik police. At night he patrols the streets, and get to meet the victims of both the Icelandic brennívin Svarti dauðinn (Black Death) and heavier drugs. Violence, crimes and misery are parts of everyday life.

Erlendur is a lone wolf, but at the same time a compassionate man. A tramp he once helped is found drowned in a ditch. Nobod
Gloria Feit
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
From the publisher: In this stunning prequel to his critically acclaimed Inspector Erlendur books and the tenth volume in the series, Erlendur is a young and inexperienced detective walking beat on the streets in Reykjavik, encountering routine traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband - - and an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to car. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed the Inspector Erlendur series, but have read them out of order. So now, having finished the 1st one, I have an even greater appreciation and affection for this character. This book helps readers to understand Erlendur's doggedness when working on a crime where others have given up, as well as his inherent sympathy for the downtrodden and underdog. The character is slowly fleshed out, but having the advantage of reading the series out of order, his inclination toward where the auth ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Fans of Arnaldur will want to read this prequel to his popular Inspector Erlendur series, but it may disappoint. Young Erlendur seems wooden, and most of the criminal incidents seem to have been compiled of out-takes from his previous books in the series. I didn't gain much insight into how Erlendur's early police experiences shaped the career of the brilliant inspector he eventually became. Reykjavik Nights especially pales in comparison to Strange Shores (seeminly the last in the Erlendur seri ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scandic-crime, crime
Through most of this book I disliked it, but changed my mind toward the end. The fact is, I'm so used to reading crime books with brilliant seasoned detectives, that Erlundur the greenhorn was driving me crazy. I found myself saying, "come on get on with it! Why is it taking you so long to get a clue?" Then I realized it was exactly the opposite of what I'm used to. So for that reason, I give the author some respect. It must've been hard to put himself in that mindset and have the patience with ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read. Everything which was wrong with the last Kathy Reich book I read a few days ago was right here. Good sense of time and place and a great "filling of the gaps" of the main detective Erlendur of the series. Interesting to see the Iceland of the 60s and compare it with current times. I am sure Indridason has plans for us. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Homer Public Libr...: My second book... 1 12 Jan 25, 2016 01:03PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add book cover, please 2 10 Mar 27, 2015 02:17PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Winterkill (Dark Iceland #6)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #5)
  • Nightblind (Dark Iceland #2)
  • The Inspector and Silence (Inspector Van Veeteren #5)
  • Rupture (Dark Iceland #4)
  • Last Rituals (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #1)
  • Woman with Birthmark (Inspector Van Veeteren #4)
  • Whiteout (Dark Iceland #5)
  • My Soul to Take (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #2)
  • Hour of the Wolf (Inspector Van Veeteren #7)
  • Snowblind (Dark Iceland #1)
  • The Day is Dark (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #4)
  • Ashes to Dust (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #3)
  • Münsters Fall (Inspector Van Veeteren #6)
  • The Caller (Konrad Sejer, #10)
  • The Darkness (Hidden Iceland, #1)
  • The Mist (Hidden Iceland #3)
  • Blackout (Dark Iceland #3)
See similar books…
Arnaldur Indriðason 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.

Arnaldur’s novels have sold over 14 million copies worldwide, in 40 languages, and have won numerous well-respected prizes an

Other books in the series

Young Inspector Erlendur (3 books)
  • Einvígið (Young Inspector Erlendur #1)
  • Into Oblivion (Inspector Erlendur)

News & Interviews

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
13 likes · 7 comments