Read Les nuits de Reykjavik by Arnaldur Indriðason Online


Erlendur le solitaire vient d’entrer dans la police, et les rues de Reykjavik dans lesquelles il patrouille de nuit sont agitées : accidents de la circulation, contrebande, vols, violences domestiques… Des gamins trouvent en jouant dans un fossé le cadavre d’un clochard qu’il croisait régulièrement dans ses rondes. On conclut à l’accident et l’affaire est classée. PourtantErlendur le solitaire vient d’entrer dans la police, et les rues de Reykjavik dans lesquelles il patrouille de nuit sont agitées : accidents de la circulation, contrebande, vols, violences domestiques… Des gamins trouvent en jouant dans un fossé le cadavre d’un clochard qu’il croisait régulièrement dans ses rondes. On conclut à l’accident et l’affaire est classée. Pourtant le destin de cet homme hante Erlendur et l’entraîne toujours plus loin dans les bas-fonds étranges et sombres de la ville. On découvre ici ce qui va faire l’essence de ce personnage taciturne : son intuition, son obstination à connaître la vérité, sa discrétion tenace pour résister aux pressions contre vents et marées, tout ce qui va séduire le commisaire Marion Briem. En racontant la première affaire d’Erlendur, le policier que les lecteurs connaissent depuis les premiers livres de l’auteur, Arnaldur Indridason dépasse le thriller et écrit aussi un excellent roman contemporain sur la douleur et la nostalgie. De roman en roman, il perfectionne son écriture et la profondeur de son approche des hommes....

Title : Les nuits de Reykjavik
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9791022601535
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 261 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Les nuits de Reykjavik Reviews

  • Marita
    2018-12-30 08:03

    “All his death meant was one less vagrant on the streets of Reykjavík.” Night after night young Erlendur and his colleagues perform their duties on the streets of Reykjavík. Drunken louts, fights, family abuse and horrendous accidents are all part of a normal night's work. And then there are the homeless clutching their brennivín or their methylated spirits whilst desperately looking for a place to sleep out of the bitter cold. Erlendur can’t stop thinking of the drowning death of Hannibal, one of the many drink-sodden tramps around town. He had encountered Hannibal on a few occasions and can’t help but wonder about the circumstances of his death. Could there possibly be a connection to a case of a person who went missing at the same time?This story is a prequel to the Inspector Erlendur series. It tells us something of the young Erlendur as he started his career as a traffic cop and how he ended up in CID. Although he has a girlfriend, he is primarily a loner and his colleagues find him detached and taciturn. But he is tenacious and empathetic. Once when he had attempted to help Hannibal, the latter had asked him: “‘Why should you care?’” His response? “‘Why shouldn’t I care?’” Those who have read any of the other novels in this series will know that there was a great tragedy in Erlendur’s past which compels him to search for answers and he is prepared to do some investigation on his own in his own time.The novel is bleak and dismal. As Erlendur sees it: “His thoughts shifted to the Reykjavík nights, so strangely sunny and bright, yet in another sense so dark and desperate.” This is the description of the bus stop where a homeless alcoholic woman takes trips to nowhere: “The floor was studded with lumps of chewing gum and a drift of sweet papers whirled in the wind. In one corner an empty litter bin lay on its side, next to a broken bottle. Obscenities were scrawled over every inch of the walls.” Thurí has no destination and she isn’t going anywhere in life, but travelling on the bus: “Feels almost like I’m travelling. But I’m not going anywhere. Never do. Always end up back in the same place.’” And no matter how she tries, she always ends up back on the booze.The story may be bleak and dismal, Erlendur detached and taciturn, but his search for the truth and his empathy for those who live on the margins of society bring some warmth and beauty to the tale.

  • Bill
    2018-12-19 03:20

    The proliferation of Scandinavian/Nordic crime fiction is fascinating to me. At first, I thought it was just a fad that would die out eventually, but no, it's still a big deal more than a decade later. And it should be too, because all the ones I have read have been great!This book is by an author from Iceland and,naturally enough, is set in Iceland. It is actually a prequel to the main series which features Detective Erlendur. In this book, Erlendur is still a young traffic officer.At the very beginning of the book, an alcoholic tramp is found drowned in a pond. A year later, Erlendur is still thinking about this case, which was pretty much immediately closed. And it turns out that on the same weekend as that drowning, a woman went missing on her way home from a club. Even though he is a traffic cop, Erlandur starts looking into both these cases. Maybe they are related? In order to find out, you'll have to read the book.This book has all the elements I like in a crime novel. Interesting characters, good suspense, quite a few false leads, and the crimes aren't solved until the very end of the book. What more could you ask for? And to top it all off, Erlendur collects books!Luckily for me, I haven't read any of the main series, so I will shortly be reading the first one (to be translated into English anyway). It's called Jar City.The only slight problem I had was trying to pronounce some of the place names (Skolavordustigur and Hverfisgata for instance).

  • Sue
    2019-01-15 05:13

    In Reykjavik nights, we are re-introduced to Inspector Erlendur, here a new, young policeman, on traffic detail, busting up small time crime--burglaries, drunken house parties, fisticuffs, the sort of crime that happens on his frequent night shifts. He also is coming to know the city better and the denizens of the night. As in the later stories, Erlendur is different from his fellow officers and here we get a picture of both cause and effect---what drives him to seek answers and just how relentless he can be. He chooses to take on an unofficial investigation of the death of a tramp, a year after the incident, alone, as a private citizen.Iceland itself is always a character in these novels. Erlendur feels the differences between the city and the country side deeply though his parents brought him to Reykjavik when he was 12. Part of him is still wandering out in the fields and mountains, not on the rough city streets.While the mystery itself was not terribly complex, the steps to its solution were certainly labored and an interesting step in Erlendur's character development. I enjoyed seeing the way he attempts to relate to others, never easy for him.I do find this a good addition to the series for these reasons and have rated it 3.5*, rounded to 4*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Nancy Oakes
    2019-01-16 07:15

    I'm still playing catch up here -- I actually finished this book about a week ago. As usual, you can certainly feel free to choose between the longer, more detailed review at myonline reading journal or the shorter version here. To my intense delight, Erlendur is back -- albeit as a young patrolman on the night shift -- in a prequel to the entire series. On his regular shift one night, young patrolman Erlendur receives a report that takes him to the scene of the drowning of a homeless man who went by the name Hannibal. Since it didn't seem to investigators that there had been any foul play, CID assumed that Hannibal's death was an accident, and the case goes cold. After all, the man was known to be a tramp, CID "had other fish to fry," and basically "no one seemed interested." Erlendur, however, had known Hannibal prior to his death, having crossed paths with him now and then, and just shortly before Hannibal's death, had listened to Hannibal when he'd claimed that someone had set fire to the cellar where he was living. Like everyone else, Erlendur didn't believe him. Now, a year later, while Hannibal is just a name on a file tucked away somewhere in police archives Erlendur can't forget him. Flying under the radar of his superiors, he decides he has to find out what really happened to this lost soul that night. But Hannibal's case is just one of two cold cases Erlendur can't forget. The case of a missing wife from the proverbial other side of the tracks in one of Iceland's better neighborhoods haunts him as well.For people who have given this book less than a good rating because they found the crimes uninteresting or even boring, well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, and it's certainly true that people approach books differently -- but if you're judging this book on the basis of the crimes and crime-solving, in my opinion, you may have missed the point. The very best element of Reykjavik Nights (imho) is not found in the crimes, in the idea that true evil doesn't discriminate between the best and worst neighborhoods in any city, in the social issues, or even in Erlendur's clandestine investigations. It lies with Erlendur Sveinsson himself. Even though he's very young and hasn't yet started on the career path as a detective where he ends up with the dream team of colleagues Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg, the Erlendur whom readers know from the regular series novels is all anchored right here -- the loner, the traditionalist, the seeker of lost souls. Since I know how things are going to turn out for him later, I found myself, for example, actually upset when he started dating future ex-wife Halldora, because well, as everyone knows, that's just not going to turn out well. It hit me while reading this book just how very much I've ended up investing in Erlendur over several years -- that may sound kind of stupid since he's a fictional character, but I suppose it means that Indridason has created a character whose life I actually cared about. To be very blunt, I can't honestly say that about most the characters in most crime fiction novels I read. I think this book works best for people who've already read the entire series. It's much more simplistic than the other novels, and I'm inclined to believe that the author did that on purpose to keep the focus on Erlendur himself, rather than on the crimes. I appreciated the obviously slower pace for that very reason.

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-12-24 09:04

    This is a prequel to the Erlunder series, which has remained one of my favorite Nordic series. Was wonderful seeing the young Erlunder in the role of a traffic cop but how he still managed to put together things that had escaped others. The bones of the later Erlunder already in place. Not able to let go of something until it is solved to his satisfaction. This plot revolved around a missing woman and a group of street people. Loved to see the compassion he had for these people, unable to stop drinking and so down on their luck. Loved the character of Hannibal and glad we got to see his back story, one that is tragic and brought him to the street. A very good series with a remarkable character.

  • Petra
    2019-01-11 02:16

    I ended up enjoying this story. Erlendur is a young cop going about his own business. In the course of his duties, he befriends a homeless man and, when he dies in a drowning, begins to investigate. This book starts slow but as the story moves along, I realized that the reader is slowly getting to know how this man thinks and works. We're being introduced to a young man who hasn't quite found his path in life. This appears to be a character-driven series. This sort of series gets better as it goes on. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series. This story may have been a bit slow but it was a good mystery, the people grew and the ending was satisfactory. A good start for a new series. There is a lot of drinking and drunkenness in Reykjavik, if one is to believe this book. LOL!

  • Dagný
    2019-01-07 02:22

    Chronologically, the last we knew of Erlendur, the police detective of Arnaldur's series, he was (perhaps forever) searching for the remains of his younger brother. ( As young boys they got lost in a wilderness snowstorm and inadvertently separated, Erlendur has never given up the search for his lost brother.) This (chronological) last sighting of Erlendur was in Furðustrandir (Strange Shores). The next to last book in the series, The Chess Match, instead featured a young Erlendur back in the beginning of his career. This latest book goes even further back in time, to 1974. While the Chess Match is set during the Fisher-Spasski duel, Reykjavíkurnætur( Reykjavik Nights) concerns itself with missing people and anchors Erlendur's obsession, almost his reason for being: finding the missing.Yet here is another sense in which Arnaldur, the author, has his main character search for the missing: the body of one of the persons he concerns himself with is not missing in the sense of it having disappeared; his body was quickly found. Rather, his searchlight is on after a man who most had forgotten and was too insignificant for anyone to look closely into why he drowned. Erlendur, in his free time, wonders, and discovers this homeless drunkard's fate and who he was. So along with Reykjavik in all its drunken modality (in those days it was not fashionable or for tourists) we see how the homeless, men and women, survive (or not).(I was a student in Reykjavik those days, how well the localities are described! The gray cement hot water tank featured in the book; I so often used to take a walks on it. Is it still there?)We get to know Erlendur better. He gets along with his fellow cops; their nightshift cruising is often a source of hilarity (some just to the reader given the changing times and attitudes-towards such strange things as pizza), sometimes as its shows up the delusional notions of the petty criminal. But Erlendur is a loner. He saw how "it was not for him to travel with relentlessly merry people. The merriment could be oppressive." He has met the woman who we happen to know will become his wife, but she is not important to him, work is, his obsessions are. He excuses himself with his work, his schedule etc. When she tells him she is pregnant, we never see him concern himself with that. He daydreams of going to school again, then to the university, to study, guess what, Icelandic history.Arnaldur himself studied history at the University of Iceland. Interestingly, as history weaves itself through his books, one makes these observations. Also, one current event looms, and then it is a setting: the 1974 National Celebration, in Þingvellir, of Iceland's 1100 years' birthday. Arnaldur would have been 13 at this time, but his father was the national chairman of the event (and even wrote a book about it) Surely the son would have been at Þingvellir on that 17th of June. And now his character is there! "The command post of the police was a short distance from the tent of the directors of the festival." Later, surprising the police, were protesters against Iceland in Nato! (Ha ha, I was visiting my brother who was studying in Germany, or else we might have been there, protesting like good leftwing students. But our dad was also in an organizing committee for this event, so we'd have behaved, I hope) Wonder what Arnaldur and his dad thought of the unexpected hoo-ha, but here Erlendur does not take part in the arrests. "Barefoot children played at the water's edge". Did Arnaldur do that, and did he then, like Erlendur, inch closer to the stage when Tómas Guðmundsson, the poet, read his commemorative poem? At any rate, the description in the book of that beautiful day is excellent; even the appearance of what his fellow policeman calls´the bloody communists´ completes the picture. This next to last chapter really sits outside the main story line and the only connection with the oeuvre in general is that it is made the setting of Erlendur literally being tapped to join Iceland's new and tiny detective squad. I think it celebrates a special memory. What a sweep in one book, the down and out at their most pathetic, huddling for warmth in the winter dark; the nation reveling in its survival in the bright summer glory. It is something few foreigners realize unless they live in Iceland: how happily one turns one's face to the sun in lee from the wind. Also the drunkards and the homeless relish that moment- and Arnaldur has gotten that scene too.

  • Gill
    2019-01-13 06:19

    I found this a bit disappointing. I've read several other Erlendur novels and have always found them extremely atmospheric. I found this one rather matter of fact. It was interesting to read this prequel, and find out how Erlendur started as a detective. However, if this had been the first of the books that I read, I doubt if I would have read further.

  • Esil
    2018-12-30 07:16

    Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to read a copy of Reykjavik Nights. 3 1/2 stars. I've been meaning to read Indridason's series for a long time, so when an opportunity to read his newest book came up, I was delighted. But I was a bit apprehensive because I tend to be a bit obsessive about reading mystery series in order. I thought this book could be an exception because it's a prequel. It takes place in the early years of Erlendur's career. So I read it without having a sense of what the depiction of Erlendur's personality and life as a young cop is meant to suggest about the older Erlendur. In the early part of the book I was distracted by this, and was finding the plot a bit thin and Erlendur not particularly interesting. But as I kept reading, I found myself having trouble turning my Kindle off so I was clearly enjoying something about the book. It’s a fairly simple detective story. Erlendur as a young traffic cop sets out to figure out who killed a “tramp” named Hannibal. Erlendur does this on his own time – which seems a bit unrealistic but I suppose is a necessary device to have a young traffic cop get involved in a murder investigation. The setting is Reykjavik in the 1970s, and Indridason does a good job of giving us a feel for that time and place. It’s a fairly bleak depiction with lots of drunkenness, and domestic violence that goes unreported and unpunished. But it’s done with a lot of empathy. And the story, although not particularly complex, kept me reading and wanting to find out how all of the strands Erlendur was uncovering fit together. And the translation is very good. Which all leads me to say that this was worth the read, but mostly because it makes me feel like reading Indradison’s previous books set later in Erlendur’s career, in which I gather this detective is a more complex character and the plots have more meat. I am happy I read this, but I think that I will generally stick to my habit of reading mystery series in the order in which they’re published – even where there’s an opportunity to read a prequel.

  • Alex Cantone
    2019-01-02 09:17

    After a while a bus arrived and Thuri stood up, saying a curt goodbye as if she wanted nothing more to do with Erlendur. The sky was leaden and it was raining again. He watched her climb aboard and select a window seat, ready to carry on circling the city with no destination, never leaving the vehicle, not caring where it went: her life a journey without purpose. As Erlendur followed the departing bus with his eyes, he pictured himself in her shoes, forever circling around life, alone, with no destination.Erlendur Sveinsson is a traffic cop, patrolling the streets of Reykjavík in the 1970’s, dealing with drink and drug offences, traffic incidents, responding to the occasional burglary. A year earlier three boys, floating a homemade raft on water-filled pools at the old peat diggings, found the body of a tramp, known to Erlendur as Hannibal. At the time the death was dismissed as an accidental drowning, with detectives focussing on a missing woman who failed to return home after an office party. Erlendur has been in a relationship with a woman for over two years, without feeling the need to settle down, and lives a simple life in a small apartment, no TV, eating traditional Icelandic food and reading books on missing persons. This fixation of his on disappearances – with the phenomenon itself, the fates of those who were never heard of again and the sufferings of those left behind to mourn.Something about Hannibal’s death perplexes him... Dwelling on his knowledge of the man when they had spoken together he seeks out the sister, Rebekka, to find out how and why he become an alcoholic.I found Reykjavík Nights an engaging read at many levels. Within the first few pages I reached for GoogleMaps to get a visual on the main streets, landmarks and the locales of Reykjavík to follow the storyline, and it was well worth the effort. Here is a country celebrating its 900 year history, while elements are uncomfortable with its minor role in WWII. Indriðason paints a sympathetic picture of those who fall outside the social order whether through misfortune, grief or survivor guilt, building into a story of two apparently unrelated events. From here on I won’t be able to pass a homeless person without wondering why. Lastly, I love the way the Icelandic alphabet (28 letters) has retained the Latin ǣ and eth (ð); used in Old English, Middle English and Faroese, and in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, giving it a Viking feel.

  • Ellen
    2019-01-10 03:07

    Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason.I've read 9 of the books in the Inspector Erlendur series when he was already a first rate detective. The author brings us, the reader, back to Erlendur's beginnings as a traffic officer. We first learn of Erlendur's fascination with missing people. His relentless search for the truth.Erlendur along with two other night officers have the worst of the worst to deal with each night on their patrol. One of the homeless men he's dealt with was found drowned and at about the same time a woman goes missing. The police give little notice to the homeless man and do a slip shot search for the woman. A year goes by with no results and that's when Erlendur begins.This was another outstanding book that brings the young Inspector into full view. although it took me a while to become engrossed in this story once I was I couldn't put the book down. I do appreciate the fact that this series does not need to dwell on blood & guts or explicit sex.

  • Carol
    2019-01-19 03:04

    I enjoyed the book but not as much as his others when Erlander was a bit more complete a person. It was an ok crime but unsatisfactory resolution. Erlander is too sharp for such a new cop and his obsession to find the killer seemed a bit unnatural for such a junior officer. But I love him anyhow and will read anything he is in

  • Susan
    2018-12-20 07:21

    Although this is the latest novel featuring Erlunder Sveinsson, it is also the earliest – taking Erlunder back to his days as a young junior officer on the beat. The novel begins with three boys finding a body in the water, which turns out to be a tramp, called Hannibal. Erlunder had come across Hannibal during his time on the streets, but, it seems, that only he thought there was something curious about his death. It was chalked down to drowning while drunk – and, knowing how the homeless man was often inebriated, you would imagine that Erlunder would accept this. However, moving on to a year after Hannibal’s death and the events are still nagging at the young rookie. Of course, anyone familiar with the character of Erlunder will be familiar with his fascination – almost obsession – of stories of people going missing, which stems back to losing his young brother during a blizzard. When we discover that a young woman disappeared only days before the body of Hannibal was found, possible links between the cases help us understand why Erlunder is so keen to get to the bottom of the mystery. I have always enjoyed the Erlunder novels and this one is no exception. Of course, Erlunder is hampered by his inexperience and lack of official backing. Nobody linked to the case is keen to talk to him at first – from the husband of the missing woman to Hannibal’s siblings. It is also unclear why a young officer, with a constant stream of robberies, domestic violence and accidents to deal with, with really be so eager to investigate Hannibal’s death on his own time. Yes, he spoke to the homeless man more than once and may have felt some guilt about not offering more help, but in reality his skin probably would have been tougher and his eagerness to get involved outside of his long work hours limited. Although there are some oddities about Hannibal’s death, it is likely that a young officer would have accepted the official version of events. Still, it is interesting to see how the young Erlunder might have reacted and how he dealt with both the case and his personal life. It would be interesting to begin at the beginning again and work up to the first novel and I enjoyed visiting this fledgling detective. Lastly, I received a copy of this novel from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Carolyn
    2019-01-14 01:08

    This book was waiting for me when I got home yesterday afternoon and my husband didn't need telling: he just ordered a takeaway as I disappeared into the bedroom for the next few hours.This is a simpler and slightly more upbeat narrative than some in the Erlendur saga, especially compared with 'Strange Shores'. Certainly, tragedy exists, in the spiritual and physical downfall of Hannibal, but there is nowhere near the existential hopelessness and despair that confronted the reader in 'Strange Shores' - well, this reader anyway! Even the weather is kinder in this latest book. I cannot recall such sustained sunshine and warmth in any book in this series.As always, Arnaldur can be trusted give us an accurate insight into the events and culture of the times. My friend Dagny's excellent review of this book confirms this. The new nation, only 30 years independent, was going through a period of rapid expansion and change, for better and worse. Erlendur reflects this. He embraces the idea of female police officers, yet is just as conservative as ever in terms of his dietary preferences, love of poetry and didacticism regarding language use. '"OK" isn't good Icelandic', he rebukes a boy sharply, as he does in later works to Sigurdur Oli, Eva Lind and anyone else using bad grammar or foreign expressions. This book is a little like an overture, where we are given brief introductions to themes and characters that will become developed in more detail as Erlendur gets older. His almost instinctive kinship with Hannibal displays his obsession with lost people, and he risks his career to make his private investigations. Hannibal and his sister Rebekka instinctively pick up on this. Indeed, Hannibal's early tragedy has left him with the same destructive survivor's guilt that will beset Erlendur for the rest of his life. There is a passage referring to Hannibal: '....the walls he had erected around his own life, which had confined him in a self-imposed prison for longer than he cared to remember.'This bears an eerie similarity to Erlendur's emotional cage.Erlendur's investigation into the fate of both Hannibal and Oddny ignites the spark that will determine his future career in the CID. But the fuel is:'....his fixation 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.'We briefly encounter several characters who will appear in later stories. Marion Briem is singularly impressed by Erlendur, and will later become his mentor. The repulsive Elledi and even more obnoxious Holberg are glimpsed, as is the pompous, ambitious but lazy Hrolfur, who will later become the Chief Commissioner. We meet Erlendur's future wife Halldora, who comes across to me as an essentially good and well-intentioned soul who cares very deeply about Erlendur. But already we see the seeds of the relationship's destruction in Erlendur's absence of communication and casual disregard. To ask, 'Is it mine?', when Halldora nervously announces her pregnancy, is beyond insensitive.This book is a wonderful prequel to my favourite series of all time.

  • Richard
    2019-01-18 08:21

    One of my favourite detective series are the Inspector Erlendur novels by Arnaldur Indriðason. I was delighted therefore to learn of a prequel set in Reykjavík in the late 1960s.I was equally keen to read it and having done so was so pleased to see the same methodical detective but now only partially formed, just a young cop learning his way on the night shifts. In uniform chasing down speeding motorists, responding to domestics and break-ins, even escorting the odd drunk to a place of refuge or a night in the cells for safety to sleep it off.It is such a joy to meet Erlendur as a cautious and unsocial young man but a determined police officer we find in all the books set later in his life and career. Here we see his fascination with missing persons; that rich empathy for others, especially the less fortunate and that questioning spirit that keeps asking questions and logically following up all leads in a focus solely on the truth.He is also that outsider from the countryside; not unduly bothered he is different. Savouring the delights of simple Icelandic cuisine and its culture with a joy in traditional poets and writers.Where others pass off the death of a homeless man, (Erlendur knew facts about because he talked to him on the beat), as an accident under the influence of alcohol. He wants to learn more about the incident especially as it was not investigated too closely at the time as a tragic missing person case happened that same weekend. It is sad that it wasn't just a lack of resources but an acceptance in other police officers and CID that the facts were simple and no suspcious circumstances, another hobo passes away almost a lifestyle choice. This plays into the missing person case as well as initial investigations find no evidence of foul play. While it remains an open case the consensus remains she took her own life. That there is no body is not surprising as the sea seldom quickly gives up its dead.So when Erlendur starts his unofficial enquiries in his own time he is unconvinced it was just a drunken accident since a good deal was happening in the homeless man's life. When he thinks the woman's disappearance might have a link with the drowning he continues to press for answers trying to piece it all together before handing the case over to the detective squad.A wonderful book, beautifully written full of violence and its aftermath but never over described or dwelled upon. Like Erlendur the author asks the reader to see the stories of the people; those that overcome such events whilst remaining full of compassion. Real to the time the book was set, and not like the thrillers of today's age. A more sedate period, getting ideas for crimes from Ironside TV plots and it will be familiar to lovers of Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo.Indeed a gentle nod to that remarkable Martin Beck series and where modern day police proceedures perhaps began.

  • Ed
    2018-12-24 04:04

    Prequel to the author's exceptional Icelandic mystery series finds a young Erlendur working as a traffic cop in Reykjavik. A homeless man is found dead in a pool of stagnant water on the same night a young married woman goes missing. The woman's disappearance takes official priority and the homeless man's death ruled accidental but Erlendur recognizes the man from previous encounters and begins an unofficial investigation on his own time. Still haunted by the tragic death of his younger brother in a blizzard when they were children, Erlendur exhibits a degree of empathy that makes his character such an appealing protagonist. It's one of the qualities that kept me turning the pages of this relatively low energy unofficial accidental death investigation. The genesis of Erlendur's extraordinary talent as an investigator is what makes this book so interesting and entertaining especially if you know Erlendur as an established detective specializing in cold cases.

  • Andy
    2018-12-20 01:06

    A clear 4 stars for meAuthor Indridason is on form with this prequel series. Wasn’t sure I was going to warm to an earlier version of his detective Erlendur but its great as we delve straight into the mystery & only slightly explore the beginnings of the detectives character which is as we love & know a little dour & self-absorbed at best! The story is all about the mystery & revolves around two "unsolved" crimes/disappearances which sees Erlendur sleuthing in his downtime as a traffic cop. The year isn't given to us & you have to work it out for yourself which I enjoyed too as you get a feel for the era by ways of social landmarks & the style of policework & what was & wasn't allowed in them days.

  • Rick
    2018-12-23 02:00

    Having read the whole series so far, going back to Erlendur's beginning seems a little strange. A good story and lots of back-filling with information and background about him. You can sense him evolving into what he becomes later. I am looking forward to Erlendur #2 (since volumes 3 and on were published first). Recommended.

  • Charlene Intriago
    2019-01-08 05:00

    Really good police procedural story. Erlander is a pretty good sleuth, never giving up. The author did a great job of taking the reader down many different paths until we finally know who "done it". I liked that.

  • Gloria Feit
    2019-01-14 00:56

    From the publisher: In this stunning prequel to his critically acclaimed Inspector Erlendur books and the tenth volume in the series, Erlendur is a young and inexperienced detective walking beat on the streets in Reykjavik, encountering routine traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband - - and an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to car. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of his.Erlendur knew that in the year that had elapsed since the man, whose name was Hannibal, drowned Reykjavik CID had uncovered no evidence of suspicious circumstances. Yet he was also aware that the death of a homeless man had not been high priority.” At around the same time as the death of the tramp, a 19-year-old girl goes missing. And not long before that a young woman who had gone out for a few drinks with friends had disappeared and never been found either. “Stories of people going missing held a particular fascination for Erlendur . . . The missing left a series of unanswered questions behind them. . . No one else was asking questions about this man who had drowned like a stray dog.” And so he goes on his own investigation into these particular disappearances. “The more details Erlendur uncovered about Hannibal’s case, the more his curiosity grew.” Now 28 years old, he finds himself “wondering if his decision to join the police had been precipitated by his fascination with stories like theirs. . . 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.”The title derives from Erlendur’s musings about Reykjavik nights, “so strangely sunny and bright, yet in another sense so dark and desperate.” And his investigation leads to unexpected lines of inquiry, at one point tying into one of the other “disappearances.” There is a large cast of characters, all very well drawn. We are given a window into the path Erlendur’s career with the police will take, as at the end of the book the results of his unsanctioned investigations so impress the top brass that he is invited by his superior to “get in touch if you’re interested in doing more of this kind of sleuthing.” And he thinks “how good it would be to shed his uniform.” Especially so since for the first time he is thinking of settling down with Halldora, his “significant other.” Wonderfully well-written, and a definite sign of what is to come from this author, the novel is highly recommended.

  • K
    2018-12-26 05:12

    I have enjoyed the Inspector Erlendur series, but have read them out of order. So now, having finished the 1st one, I have an even greater appreciation and affection for this character. This book helps readers to understand Erlendur's doggedness when working on a crime where others have given up, as well as his inherent sympathy for the downtrodden and underdog. The character is slowly fleshed out, but having the advantage of reading the series out of order, his inclination toward where the author takes Erlendur was quite evident to me. Whether or not you are new to Indridason's writing or, like me, read him in whatever order you could find the books, this one is definitely worth the time. A real dandy.

  • Gisela Hafezparast
    2019-01-13 07:58

    Good read. Everything which was wrong with the last Kathy Reich book I read a few days ago was right here. Good sense of time and place and a great "filling of the gaps" of the main detective Erlendur of the series. Interesting to see the Iceland of the 60s and compare it with current times. I am sure Indridason has plans for us.

  • James
    2019-01-11 08:18

    Another smashingly good read from Iceland, home of noir crimes and the most sympathetic and humble detective this side of Sicily. This time Erlendar cares when a homeless man is found dead, Erlendar always cares when it is inconvenient. It's all great particularly the mundane mix of grunt work and lucky breaks. My favourite crime series by far.

  • Lynn
    2018-12-31 05:21

    Erlendur is just starting out in uniform in the Reykjavik police service in this prequel. As a Traffic cop, he sees the effect of chronic drink every night on the late shift. Erlendur's the same guy basically, just 20 years before the rest of the series. He's kinda sad, cares about victims as people, and longs for a good smoked sheepshead for supper.

  • Jim
    2018-12-20 07:19

    Arnaldur Indriðason continues to be one of my favorite mystery writers. This time, in Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík, goes in for a prequel. His famed detective, Erlendur Sveinsson, is a young traffic cop on night duty in the Icelandic capital. He has befriended a drunk named Hannibal who, at the beginning of the story, turns up drowned in a drainage ditch.You have to understand that Erlendur has a thing for missing persons. A young woman named Odny goes missing almost exactly around the time that Hannibal is drowned; and Erlendur starts his own criminal investigation while off duty. He keeps putting pieces together until two items of jewelry provide the answers he is looking for.The reason Erlendur has a thing about missing persons is that, in his boyhood in East Iceland, he became separated from his younger brother in a terrible blizzard. Erlendur survived; but his brother was lost.I hope that Indriðason has a long career ahead of him, and that I live long enough to continue to appreciate his work.

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-01-07 05:01

    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.

  • Toni Osborne
    2019-01-15 02:10

    Prequel to the inspector Erlendur series (volume 10)Translating and publishing books out of sequence seems to be the trend for Nordic publishers these days. After so many exciting outings we go back in time to the roots of our famous protagonist. Mr. Indridason has carefully reinvented Erlendur and we find him in 1974 as a young officer working the beat mostly on traffic duty during night shifts and dreaming in becoming a detective one day. Although part of a series this 10th installment can be easily read at any time it stands well on its own. The multi-faceted mystery centers on both Erlendur duties as a patrol cop and on the case involving the death of Hannibal, a tramp Erlendur is acquainted with. On his own time, Erlendur starts an investigation and finds himself deep into the hidden miseries of alcoholism and homelessness. It doesn’t take him long before connecting Hannibal’s case with that of a missing woman and seeing himself slowly drag into the strange and dark underworld of Reykjavik smack in the middle of a criminal gang. The story is cleverly constructed, nicely done and pretty straightforward. It starts slowly at first never giving out the obvious or any hints of what to come. This gentle pace is kept till we read the last words. The narrative is clean and the dialogue is what drives the drama. There are some amusing passages, obsession regarding lack of fast food available in Iceland, especially pizza. Fans of this series will notice that this visit to the past reveals a more cheerful version of the older Erlendur and gives us a new insight into his character and what makes him tick. We get to meet some characters that will play prominent roles in his later life and some insignificant ones that will simply disappear to never be heard of.In “Reykjavik Nights” the first into Erlendur’s earlier days will not leave us wondering. A sequence “Oblivion” should be released sometime in 2015 for the English audience and in this one we should expect our beloved Erlendur to be promoted detective. Never kill a good series, the authors will always find ways to keep them alive and entertaining. “Reykjavik Nights” is a great addition to a terrific series.

  • Tony
    2018-12-21 09:02

    REYKJAVIK NIGHTS. (2015). Arnaldur Indridason. ***1/2.This latest from this Icelandic author is actually a prequel to the rest of the series. Before his main character, Inspector Erlendur, becomes a full Inspector, he was first an entry level Traffic cop on the streets of the capital. He becomes involved with the group of street people on his beat, and develops friendships with several of them, including one named Hannibal. Later, Hannibal is discovered floating in one of the drainage pools outside of the capital. It looks like suicide or an accident. Erlendur doesn’t believe what’s in front of his eyes, so he undertakes to find out the actual cause of his friend’s death. It also turns out that his death is also related to a missing person’s case that has been abandoned by the police. The point of this novel is to show the mental workings of Erlendur that existed from the beginnings of his service to the force. It shows us the character of our protagonist in his formative stages, and helps us understand his basic motivations throughout the rest of this fine set of novels.

  • Clare O'Beara
    2019-01-13 04:16

    The death of a homeless man occurs one bitter winter night in Reykjavik and amid his many call-outs to drunken violence, domestic and public, the up and coming policeman Erlendur asks questions. I have to say that I pretty quickly wondered why Erlendur was the only one pursuing this matter, in that he'd picked derelict Hannibal off the street a few times to stop him dying from exposure, and he knew the man sometimes drank, and the death was not very suspicious. If everyone else shrugs and gets on with the latest heavily drunk driver tragedy why doesn't Erlendur do the same? This is a woven story with crimes both modern and timeless, people of various sorts and an overwhelming feeling of bleakness. I always enjoy learning about life in Iceland from this author, but I'm glad I don't live there over winter.

  • CatherineMustread
    2019-01-14 02:21

    Novice traffic cop, Erlendur, has a special interest in the cases of missing people and a soft spot for the hidden members of society, while he works in the sordid rather than tourist side of the city, dealing with alcoholics, abusers and the abused. He spends his spare time investigating the supposed drowning death of Hannibal, a homeless man he had befriended, and finds connections to several other unsolved crimes.Set in the late 1960s, based on clues of a Shirley MacLaine movie, Ironside TV series, and the upcoming 1100th Anniversary of Iceland's Settlement, this is the first chronologically of the Inspector Erlendur series though not the first published.Very little is mentioned about Erlendur's personal life except that he has a girlfriend who reluctantly mentions to him that perhaps they should move in together because of her pregnancy.