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.)
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"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