Summary and book reviews of Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason

Arctic Chill

A Thriller

by Arnaldur Indridason

Arctic Chill
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2009, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Joanne Collings

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Book Summary

The Reykjavik police are called on an icy January day to a garden where a body has been found: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland’s outwardly liberal, multicultural society.

In this new extraordinary thriller from Gold Dagger Award winner Arnaldur Indridason, the Reykjavik police are called on an icy January day to a garden where a body has been found: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland’s outwardly liberal, multicultural society. Meanwhile, the boy’s murder forces Erlendur to confront the tragedy in his own past. Soon, facts are emerging from the snow-filled darkness that are more chilling even than the Arctic night.

1

They were able to guess his age, but had more trouble determining which part of the world he came from.

They thought he was about ten years old. He was wearing a grey anorak, unzipped, with a hood, and military-style camouflage trousers. His school bag was on his back. One of his boots had come off and there was a hole in his sock. One toe poked through. The boy was not wearing gloves or a hat. His black hair was already frozen to the ice. He lay on his stomach with one cheek turned up towards them, and they saw his broken eyes staring along the frozen earth. The puddle of blood underneath him had started to freeze.

Elínborg knelt down beside the body.

‘Oh my God,’ she groaned. ‘What on earth is happening?’

She held out her hand, as though she wanted to touch the body. The boy looked as if he had lain down to take a rest. She had difficulty controlling herself, did not want to believe what she saw.

‘Don’t move him,’ ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
About this Guide
The following author biography and list of questions about Arctic Chill are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Arctic Chill.

About the Book
Inspector Erlendur is back in another thriller by Gold Dagger Award-winner Arnaldur Indridason. Elias, a ten-year-old boy of Thai extraction, has been found stabbed outside his apartment building. But Erlendur, Sigurdur Oli, and Elinbourg conclude from Elias's history that he was a good student, and a shy but all-around sweet little boy. They ...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Arctic Chill is unique among Idridason's Erlendur books: the previous four all revolve mostly around crimes connected to the past. This one combines the best aspects of Indridason's earlier books with a new and compelling awareness of Iceland now.   (Reviewed by Joanne Collings).

Full Review Members Only (618 words).

Media Reviews

The New York Times

With its sad story about lost boys and its mournful theme of the indifference of the living to those who walk out of their lives, Arctiv Chill may well be the most thoroughly depressing of all the gloomy police procedurals coming out of those cold lands near the Arctic Circle. But since the storyteller is Arnaldur Indridason, this Icelandic tale is delivered with exquisite sensitivity...

Library Journal

For fans of moody Nordic mysteries by writers such as Henning Mankell and Ake Edwardson, this is an essential read.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. [A] stellar fifth Reykjavik thriller...Indridason has produced a stunning indictment of contemporary society.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A beautifully layered mystery notable for its breadth and depth. Indridason and his hero steadily improve with age.

The Times - Joan Smith

This is not an easy read, but its humanity and insight make it truly memorable.

The Independent - Emma Hagestadt

Inter-racial tensions are nothing compared to the inter-office friction between Erlendur and stony sidekick, Sigurdur Oli, in this highly believable mystery, seamlessly translated by the late Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb.

Reader Reviews

BettySunshine

Arctic Chill
Even though there is little "action" in the story and it was a bit slow moving, the writing is superb and kept me intrigued. The author uses conversation amazingly well in the book. It just kept pulling me in especially with the two ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Iceland
Located midway between North America and mainland Europe (map), Iceland is the same distance from New York as New York is to Los Angeles. The island is the same size as the state of Ohio, with 11% of its surface covered in glaciers. Much of the country is an other-worldly moonscape of ancient lava flows covered in moss, and tall, treeless mountains. More than half of Iceland's 300,000 residents live in the capital city, Reykjavik (pronounced RAKE-ya-vick); but with more than 100,000 waterfalls, countless hot springs, numerous fjords, and green valleys, Iceland's uninhabitable parts are popular destinations for native and tourist explorers.




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Only about 10% of Icelanders have surnames; the ...

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