Robin's Reviews > Black Skies

Black Skies by Arnaldur Indriðason
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really liked it

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 us interested in a character who is humourless, self-absorbed and has no sympathy for the less well-off in Icelandic society.

But it is a measure of the author's gifts as a writer that he brings Oli to life and makes us want to know what happens to him. His marriage to Bergthora is almost over and Oli suddenly realises that he doesn't want to lose her, but he's left it too late to win her back. He suddenly feels alone, and seeing the sad lives in his role as a detective, and coming to understand the failure of his parents' miserable union, makes him realise he has lost something precious. This is excellent writing, weaving as it does with a complex plot of three crimes involving a murdered blackmailer, corrupt bankers and an alcoholic who finds the man who abused him as a boy.

In the end we see that Oli, despite his rigidity and lack of empathy, has changed before our eyes. He's gained insight into himself and is somehow a bit more likeable. A fine book that confirms my feeling that Indridason is one of the best writers around.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 1, 2013 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2013 – Shelved

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