Review: Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason

Title: Reykjavik Nights {Inspector Erlendur Prequel}

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason

Published: Minotaur Books April 2015

Status: Read from April 19 to 21, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Essentially a prequel to the eleven book series from bestselling author Arnaldur Indriðason, Reykjavik Nights features detective, Inspector Erlendur as a rookie officer on the streets of the Iceland’s capital.

It is the mid 1970’s and Erlendur is a new beat officer, patrolling the darkened streets of Reykjavik. He responds to traffic accidents, drunken brawls, thefts and domestic violence incidents but it is the fate of the missing that intrigues him, reminding him of lost brother.

“This fixation of his with disappearances – with the phenomenon itself, the fates of those who were never heard of again and the sufferings of those left behind to mourn. He knew his obsession had its roots in the tragedy he himself had endured on the moors out east, and that it had been intensified by all the books he had read on disappearances or terrible ordeals in this harsh land.”

The novel begins with three young boys discovering the body of an alcoholic vagrant known as Hannibal, who death is quickly dismissed as drowning via misadventure. A year later the case continues to haunt Erlendur in part because he had struck up an acquaintance with the tramp but his interest is rekindled when he discovers a tenuous link between Hannibal’s murder and the disappearance of a local woman around the same time. The plot meanders a little as Erlendur, on his own time and with few resources, follows his hunch, but I enjoyed moving through the streets with him as he worked to develop connections and answer the questions he is unable to let go of while also going about his usual police duties.

” As he thought about Hannibal he reflected that people could just as easily lose themselves on Reykjavik’s busy street as on remote mountain paths in winter storms.”

Indriðason paints a vivid portrait of Reykjavik and its culture during the 1970’s, a city yet to experience the economic boom that revitalised the capital, and began to attract tourists. Erlendur spends a lot of time walking around the Reykjavik streets, and those familiar with the capital should be able to trace his path.

“His thoughts shifted to the Reykjavik nights, so strangely sunny and bright, yet in another sense so dark and desperate. Night after night he and his fellow officers patrolled the city in the lumbering police van, witnessing human dramas that were hidden from others. Some the night provoked and seduced; others it wounded and terrified.”

For readers unfamiliar with the Inspector Erlendur series, Reykjavik Nights is a great place to start, while fans should enjoy learning more about the hero they have grown to know and love. I enjoyed the novel and I’m interested in reading more.

Available to Purchase From

Minotaur Books I Amazon US I BookDepository  I IndieBound

Via Booko

Seasoned Traveller 2015


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gina amos
    Apr 29, 2015 @ 17:12:55

    This looks like it would be an interesting read. I went to buy it but it is not available on Kindle:(



  2. kathrynsinbox
    Apr 29, 2015 @ 21:21:02

    Sounds like a great read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Rita @ View From My Home
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 01:35:39

    Have you read the author before? This does sound like a great place to jump in for someone like me who was interested in starting the series but found the amount of books already written as daunting.



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