Saturday, May 16, 2015
"Strange Shores", by Arnaldur Indridason
This is a powerful and very emotional novel. The story digs deep into how people cope with traumatic events and how it affects and shapes their lives for many years afterwards. Although I do agree with those saying this book works well as a standalone I would highly recommend you give the previous installments priority.
After a few editions without the presence of the main character it is nice to see the focus back on the morose Icelandic policeman Erlendur Sveinsson. In “Strange Shores” we find out what he has been up to while away from his job dealing with family business. This impressive story sets Erlendur to face his past. Camping at his childhood farm in the East Fjords where his brother disappeared in a snowstorm Erlendur makes a last-ditch effort to find out what happened to him. Of course the story intertwines with another disappearance of a young woman in the same area during WW11. Mr. Indridason mixes some fact with his fiction with a true story of British soldiers stationed nearby caught up in an appalling storm which cost them their lives.
The tone is quite different than we find in most gritty modern crime thriller, Strange Shores” is sad and poignant. The plot is more a soft flowing story than a fast, scary crime novel. It is simply a well told investigation of cold cases in the frozen fjords of Iceland. This is a classic Indridason, with pared down dialogue, wonderful characters and a beautifully imagined scenario. The impressive way this drama concludes leaves us to believe this may be the last outing for a wonderful character, if so this series finishes with a very light touch.