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Voices (Detective Erlendur) Paperback – September 2, 2008


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Voices (Detective Erlendur) + Silence of the Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries, No. 2) + The Draining Lake: An Inspector Erlendur Novel (Reykjavik Thriller)
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Product Details

  • Series: Detective Erlendur (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312428065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312428068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gold Dagger Award–winner Indridason stumbles in his third Reykjavik thriller to feature Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson (after 2006's Silence of the Grave). A few days before Christmas, Erlendur and his colleagues, Elínborg and Sigurdur Óli, look into the scandalous murder of Gudlaugur, a local Santa Claus, at a busy hotel. As Erlendur and his team scramble to find a motive for the seemingly senseless crime, disturbing secrets from Gudlaugur's past begin to surface. In a hotel full of foreign holiday guests, Erlendur investigates everyone from a slippery British record collector to a sullen maid who reminds Erlendur of his own daughter. Snippets of a previous investigation involving child abuse distract from the Gudlaugur case. Despite a drawn-out climax where Erlendur tries to put all the pieces together, most readers will predict the terrible secret that led to Gudlaugur's death. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Mesmerizing . . . [An] enthralling narrative."--The Wall Street Journal

"Bleakly beautiful."--The New York Times Book Review

“Indridason expertly plies the more familiar waters of the classic mystery. . . . He is a wise, compassionate writer, and this is his wisest, most compassionate book."--Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"The enthusiasm generated by Indridason's first two novels starring Reykjavík police inspector Erlendur Sveinsson was reminiscent of the buzz that launched Henning Mankeel's Kurt Wallander when he arrived in the United States a decade ago. The third in Indridason's series will add more volume to the word of mouth. . . . A grim but compelling look at how the stranglehold of the past cripples our abilitiy to live in the present."--Booklist

"An exceptional psychological study."--Library Journal


More About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason is the author of Jar City, Silence of the Grave, Voices, The Draining Lake, and Arctic Chill. He won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave and is the only author to win the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel two years in a row, for Jar City and Silence of the Grave. The film of Jar City, now available on DVD from Blockbuster, was Iceland's entry for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and the film of his next book, Silence of the Grave, is currently in production with the same director. His thrillers have sold more than five million copies in over 25 countries around the world. He lives in Iceland.

Customer Reviews

Written very well & very good character development.
darlene cooper
You will enjoy a trip there from time to time to read one of these Idridisson books.
Brian Oldham
Highly recommended for fans or Nordic noir and intelligent mysteries in general.
G. Gardner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By cait VINE VOICE on September 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is the week before Christmas and we are in the far north, almost guaranteed a snowy, white holiday. But it you looking for a cozy mystery, perhaps you should look elsewhere, because this book would seem to fall distinctly in the category of 'noir', defined in Merriam-Webster as "crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings." Yes, cynical...and yes, bleak...and in "Voices" that is a very enjoyable combination for the reader.

The holidays are approaching, and in the basement of Iceland's very popular Grand Reykjavik Hotel, a body has been found. The victim of the brutal stabbing is the hotel's doorman, discovered half dressed in the suit he was going to wear to play Santa at an employee party. Found with his pants down around his ankles, in a very compromising position, in the nasty, empty little room in which he lived. Called in to investigate is Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson and his team, each with their own very distinct personalities. Erlendur is himself a rather bleak yet compelling character. Divorced for decades, alone, almost a stranger to his two now grown, troubled children, he might seem at first an unlikely sympathetic character. But as with all the folks here, we learn that what we at first see is not all there is to the story.

For example, Erlendur is still haunted by the death of his younger brother when they were both just children, the boy lost forever on a snowy Icelandic moor, while Erlendur was found and saved.

"He was older and was responsible for his sibling. It had always been that way. He had taken care of him. In all their games. When they were home alone. When they were sent off on errands. He had lived up to those expectations.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Iceland is a nasty place as portrayed in the 'thriller' novels of Arnufur Indridason - gloomy, gritty, petty - and its folk have a taste for drugs, prostitution, and confrontational behavior. If I were the Director of Tourism in Iceland, I tell you, I'd pay Indridason a handsome bonus to write about some other country. This novel Voices, the third in a series featuring Police Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson, is the nastiest yet, with a lurid crime that leads to more and more perverse ugliness. Poor Erlendur is confronting another Christmas, that joyless holiday which he tries to ignore but which inevitably dredges up thoughts of his childhood tragedy. Most of the novel takes place in a hotel -- a tourist destination -- staffed by repulsive and evil-tempered goons. There's a good chance that one of them murdered Santa in flagrante in the hotel basement.

The first two novels in the series - Jar City & Silence of the Grave - were every bit as gritty and sleasy, but some half-concealed humanity in Inspector Erlendur made one empathize with the poor man and care about his agonies with his drug-addled daughter and alienated son. Well... in Voices, I could still squeeze out a little sympathy for Erlendur, but only because by now he's almost a black-sheep uncle. If you haven't read the prvious two novels, I truly doubt you'll get past chapter five of this one. One has to wonder, by the way, why Erlendur hasn't discovered prozac or celexa, in a country where 'drugs' are not unavailable. Is there a cultural prejudice against relief from depression except illegally?

And there's one glaring flaw in the none-too-credible mystery plot. The victim Santa was a boy soprano of great musical promise, whose voice "broke" without any warning in the middle of a showcase concert.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on December 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Voices", the third Icelandic crime mystery written by Arnaldur Indridason and translated by Bernard Scudder, is as dark, brooding, and fatalistic as the two that preceded it.

But hey, if this were Tahiti, they wouldn't call it "Iceland".

And if one were to select a "Mr. Iceland" based on a personality most representative of this barren landscape of volcanoes and endless winter nights, Indridason's irascible police detective Erlander Sveinsson would leave the competition far behind.

In this installment of gloom, it is the Christmas season, and Erlander is called upon to investigate the murder of Gulauger Egilsson, a 50-ish doorman of one of Reykjavik's better hotels, found in his hotel basement room with his Santa Claus suit around his ankles and fatal knife wounds in his chest. What follows would be a rather pedestrian whodunit - a standard crime drama of turning up clues and connecting the dots - were it not for the talented Indridason and his penchant for painting with a palette of despair what could have been a Currier and Ives Scandinavian Holiday card. Unbeknownst to hotel management or staff, the reclusive Gulauger was once a child star - a choirboy of international fame, who at twelve had two records published, destined for fame and the Vienna Boys' Choir. But not content to rely solely on poor Gulanger's sordid tale, the author deftly weaves together parallel threads, each apparently competing to see which can be more depressing. We have Erlander's partner Elinborg chasing down a case of parental child abuse, while his daughter bounces from thoughts of suicide to drug addiction, pining over her complicity in the death of her own infant daughter.
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