Translated by Anna Yates
c/o Random House
20 Vauxhall Rd., London SW1V 2SA
9781846554230 12.99 BPS www.randomhouse.co.uk
[This book is currently available only in/through the UK/Canada, not yet available in the US]
At the outset of this newest book by Icelandic author Indridason, the eighth in the series available in English translation, a young man picks up a woman in a bar, slips some rohypnol into her drink and brings her back to his home in an historic area of Reykjavik. When two days later the police are called to the scene, the body found lying in a pool of blood on the floor is not that of the woman, but the young man who lived there, his throat having been slashed. The only clues are a woman's shawl, and a strange smell that lingers in the air.
In this latest entry in the series, Detective Elinborg has the primary role, while her colleagues Erlendur and Sigurdur Oli take on lesser roles, the former only by reference in the early and late parts of the book [referred to as "a failure of a father," an "irascible loner," and "an insightful detective" whom Elinborg admires but does not necessarily like]. As the book opens he has apparently taken a leave of absence to travel to the East Fjords, where he had lived as a young boy. Oli has only a secondary role in the present investigations, with Elinborg taking the lead.
As always, Elinborg has conflicts between her job and her role as a wife and mother, and worries that she is not devoting enough time to her family. The older of her two sons, 16 years old and increasingly distant, has been a cause of concern lately, and she "sometimes worried about the relationships between parents and their children," a theme which recurs throughout the book. In the course of her investigation, Elinborg is drawn into an old case, one involving the disappearance of a 19-year-old girl six years prior, and the possibility that the two cases are tied together.
Having been steadily absorbing reading for more than the first half of the book, it suddenly becomes more intriguing as the plot turns more complex, and maintains that level till the denouement. This is a powerful book, consistent with all this author's prior work, and highly recommended.
Hide and Seek
B Katia Lief
Ebury Press [Random House UK]
9780091937928 6.99 BPS
Katia Lief's first book, the thrilling "You Are Next," was published in the US in October of 2010; this novel, a sequel, was published there under the title "Next Time You See Me" one short month later, and presently in the UK under the above title. Inasmuch as it picks up four years after the end of the first book, everything to follow must be considered a potential spoiler, hence:
Karin Schaeffer is still living in Brooklyn, New York, but now she is about to celebrate her second wedding...