Book - 2009
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The latest installment in the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award--winning Reykjavik Murder Mystery series.

One cold autumn night, a woman is found hanging from a beam in her summer cottage. At first sight it appears to be a straightforward case of suicide; the woman, María, had never recovered from the loss of her mother two years earlier and had a history of depression. But when Karen, the friend who found her body, approaches Erlendur and gives him the tape of a séance that María had attended, his curiosity is aroused.

Driven by a need to find answers, Erlendur embarks on an unofficial investigation to find out why the woman's life ended in such an abrupt and tragic manner. At the same time, he is haunted by the unresolved cases of two young people who went missing thirty years before, and, inevitably, his discoveries raise ghosts from his own past.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780307357816
Branch Call Number: ARN
Characteristics: 314 pages ;,24 cm


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Aug 15, 2018

I've read and enjoyed almost all of the Erlander series. When I finished this story involving two cold case missing persons and a "suicide" I was left sad and dejected and cheerless -- a lot like our protagonist. I like the writing, but will need to take a break from the relentless bleakness of these stories to recharge my energies. On the positive side Erlander's personal story and relationships evolved and we're left with the slightest glimmer of hope for him. Downgraded this novel due to lack of retribution. Yes, yes, I know it may be more "realistic" and may appeal to many.

multcolib_susannel Sep 15, 2017

While unofficially investigating a suicide in a remote area, Inspector Erlendur wonders if it could be connected to cold case involving a man and a woman who went missing near the same lake.

Aug 09, 2017

I saw this one on a mystery display and I'm sure glad I read it! Great story. I'll read this author again.

Dec 27, 2016

An excellent series by one of my favourite Nordic writers.

Aug 12, 2016

Erlendur's persistence leads him to solve a mystery on his own, a suicide which no one found suspicious.
He's often described as plodding, but I like the persistence of this tortured character. I'm really enjoying this series.

Oct 18, 2014

Detective is good character; well executed, but just okay at end.

May 05, 2012

recommended by Bev

Jan 09, 2012

The Globe & Mail’s rather undiscerning reviewer of mystery books thinks this (#8 in the series) is his best book so far and for once I agree with her; it’s an unconventional story about the main character’s unofficial investigation into a case of suicide; the story’s well told and I’d give it 4.5 or 5 stars were it not for the single-handed nature of the investigation and the overly-easy way in which some side issues are handled; the main character’s private life is handled better here than in most of the previous books in the series

Sep 11, 2011


JCLJanineM Nov 02, 2010

Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is back full force in "Hypothermia", the sixth title in Arnaldur Indriðason's Icelandic detective series following a somewhat anemic "Artic Chill." This time around the plodding but relentless Erlendur is called out to investigate the apparent suicide of a young woman named María who was found hanging from a beam in the living room of her holiday cottage by a friend, Karen, who had asked to use the lake cottage for the weekend. The lake by the cottage is also where María's father drowned when she was just a small child Although there is nothing at the cottage to suggest any other conclusion but suicide, Erlendur is disturbed by a tape Karen brings him of a session the deceased had with a psychic after her mother passed away. Without any evidence of a crime, Erlender cannot pursue an official investigation. Instead, he decides to pursue the case on his own, risking his career in the process.

Unlike earlier titles in the series, "Hypothermia" makes little mention of the rest of Erlendur's squad. But the narrative does build on the tragic event in Erlendur's childhood--the blizzard that caused his brother's certain death--and also adds to the story behind the detective's failed marriage. Of course, true to form, Erlendur is also working some cold cases from the past that he cannot bring himself to abandon--missing persons cases that he continues to investigate hoping against hope that he will finally solve them and bring some closure to their families. This stubborn persistence against all odds is what makes Erlendur an endearing character despite his rather dull and gloomy personality. He does not give up, and so we cannot give up on him.

Indriðason has done a great job of producing a novel that can stand on its own or be read as part of the series. The plot contains some definite surprises and, as always, Iceland is a fascinating character in and of itself. This one's a definite win for Erlendur and Indriðason.

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