In the spirit of reading crime novels set in global locations I picked up Jar City: A Thriller (Reykjavik Thriller)by Arnaldur Indridason set in sunny Iceland… Erlendur, the protagonist, makes a fascinating character, older, flawed, with a past that is only partially revealed to us, a fact that makes the reader want to pick up the next novel in the series. I found the relationship he has with his now adult dope addict daughter a great side story, the scene in his apartment where she makes him meat stew and they talk over dinner while the cold night whiles away outside was hopeful and sweet, showing that despite everything family is family and love can be found.
The primary murder that begins the story plays out simply enough until Erlender and the reader realizes just how deep the decades old saga of the victim goes. It was well conceived and not predictable, however, I found the idea (this is a spoiler so if you haven’t read the book stop here) that TWO rape victims were impregnated by their perpetrator a bit far fetched; it’s not that easy to get pregnant. Is it possible, yes, is it likely, no? Still at least Erlender’s cohorts bring this up, too, so we know the author has considered this very important piece of the puzzle to be a tricky sell. A great moment in the book is the discovery of all the bugs living underneath Holberg’s flat, yuck! I don’t know why I thought this was so interesting but I suppose it gave a sense of just how foul this guy really was.
I will definitely be ready for the follow up novel, hoping to get a better glimpse into the sordid details of Erlender's failed marriage and why he avoided his fatherly responsibilities, and to see if he can make up for lost time by being a good grandfather.