Excerpt from Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Arctic Chill

A Thriller

by Arnaldur Indridason

Arctic Chill
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2009, 352 pages
    Sep 2010, 352 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Joanne Collings

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

‘She what?’

‘She always tells me to phone the police immediately if . . .’

‘If what?’

‘If anything happens.’

‘What do you think happened to Elli?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Were you born in Iceland?’


‘Elli too, do you know?’

The boy had been staring down at the linoleum on the stairwell floor all the time, but now he looked Erlendur in the face.

‘Yes,’ he answered. The front door swung open and Elínborg was blown indoors. A thin sheet of glass separated the stairwell from the entrance and Erlendur saw that she was carrying his overcoat. With a smile he told the boy he might talk to him again later, then stood up and walked over to Elínborg.

‘You know you must only interrogate children in the presence of a parent or guardian or child welfare officer and all that,’ she snapped as she handed him his coat.

‘I wasn’t interrogating him,’ Erlendur said. ‘Just asking about things in general.’ He looked at his overcoat. ‘Has the body been removed?’

‘It’s on its way to the morgue. He didn’t fall. They found a trail.’

Erlendur grimaced.

‘The boy entered the garden from the west side,’ Elínborg said. ‘There’s a path there. It’s supposed to be lit but one of the residents told us there’s only one lamp-post and the bulbs are always getting smashed. He got into the garden by climbing over the fence. We found blood on it. He lost his boot there, probably when he was clambering over.’

Elínborg took a deep breath.

‘Someone stabbed him,’ she said. ‘He probably died from a knife wound to the stomach. There was a pool of blood underneath him that froze more or less directly it formed.’ Elínborg fell silent.

‘He was probably going home,’ she said eventually.

‘Can we trace where he was stabbed?’

‘We’re working on it.’

‘Have his parents been contacted?’

‘His mother’s on the way. Her name’s Sunee. She’s Thai. We haven’t told her what’s happened yet. That’ll be terrible.’ ‘You go and be with her,’ Erlendur said. ‘What about the father?’

‘I don’t know. There are three names on the entryphone. One looked something like Niran.’

‘I understand he has a brother,’ Erlendur said.

He opened the door for her and they went out into the howling north wind. Elínborg waited for the mother. She would go to the morgue with her. A policeman accompanied Stefán home; they would take a statement from him there. Erlendur went back into the garden. He put on his overcoat. The grass was dark where the boy had been lying.

I am felled to the ground.

A snatch of old verse entered Erlendur’s mind as he stood, silent and deep in thought, looking down at the patch where the boy had been lying. He took a last glance up the length of the gloomy block of flats, then carefully picked his way over the icy ground towards the playground, where he grasped the cold steel of the slide with one hand. He felt the piercing cold crawl up his arm.

I am felled to the ground,
frozen and cannot be freed . . .

Excerpted from Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason. Copyright © 2009 by Arnaldur Indridason. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Minotaur. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.