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Outrage Paperback – October 1, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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GIFT QUALITY! FIRST BRITISH EDITION. 2011 Harvill Secker(Random House) trade paperback, Arnaldur Indridason (Jar City: A Reykjavik Thriller). Haunted by personal demons, Detective Erlunder decides to take a short leave of absence, putting a female detective, Elínborg, in charge while he is gone. When a troubling case lands on Elínborg's desk, she's quickly thrust into a violent and volatile situation with extremely high stakes. Soon, her investigation uncovers a twisted tale of double lives that may be connected to the unsolved disappearance of a young girl.
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A young man is found with his throat slit and his mouth full of Rohypnol, the date rape drug,usually given to women. Upon further investigation, it is found that indeed a woman had been in the premises, and this murder investigation now takes a different turn. Elinborg turns out to be an excellent investigator. She knows her team well, leads them with expertise, and her intricate method of investigation turns up clues others may miss.
Elinborg has another life beside that of a detective. She has a happy life with her partner, and four children. We are led through her life, learn of a previous marriage, and her first meeting with Teddi, her partner. After her disastrous first marriage, they have decided not to go through the legalities of a marriage. Her children are growing, they love her, and respect her profession, but she is not home enough. Elinborg balances the difficult stress of her job with cooking. She has written a book on desserts, and she is in the process of writing another. At the moment, Elinborg is into Indian cooking, and her knowledge of this cooking brings a new clue within this murder.
Elinborg goes to the family home of the murdered man and finds only the mother, who, it seems, knows nothing about her son. The townspeople are very quiet, and only one young woman gives a sign that there is more to know. Elinborg finds herself in situations where it might be best to have a partner, but she shows no fear. Is this a good thing? Elinborg is relentless in her pursuit of the murderer, and her determination and skill bring her in good stead.
I like Elinborg, she has tried to balance her life, so that her children and partner play a big part. But, she also realizes her children are growing older and time is slipping away. She worries about them, and she wonders why she is still in this police work. There is a great deal of introspection on her part. The contrast between Erlendur's and Elinborg are quite apparent, one a loner, grumpy, with no life outsideof his work, the other a happy home life, with outside interests, and showing signs of growth and maturity.
Is this the end of Erlendur, and the beginning of a new series with Elinborg? It is difficult to tell, we only know Erlendur has not been seen in awhile. Whichever way the wind blows, I will follow.
Recommended. prisrob 09-01-13
That leaves his colleague Elinborg to deal a murder that's quite nasty for Iceland, where such cases are infrequent. A young man has been found viciously murdered in his flat in highly suggestive circumstances.
Although this is an excellent police procedural with forensics turning up juicy surprises and tense interviews abounding, Elinborg conducts her investigation along eccentric lines.
She follows clues that any other cop (maybe even Erlendur) would dismiss. She sees significance in faint odors, listens carefully to nonsense and will readily go on a wild goose chase to check out an odd remark. The red herrings are as big as whales. We hardly know where to direct our suspicions, but somehow we trust Elinborg to hit upon the truth eventually.
Elinborg is a complete person, not a cop without a life. She has actually written a successful cookbook! The cloud of Icelandic gloom that hangs over her boss seems to have missed her, but she does have her worries. She feels guilty that her family survives on take-out when she's working all hours. She has two rebellious teenage sons, a young prodigy of a daughter and a sweet, unflappable husband.
The family dynamics alone would make a good novel. Add to that a murky, multi-layered mystery, and the plot just gets more and more absorbing.
I've loved all the Erlendur mysteries, and I hope there are more coming, but I'd also welcome another Elinborg case. I'd recommend this book without reservations to discerning mystery readers.