Oblivion – Arnaldur Indridason

Having finished off Detective Erlendur Sveinsson’s career, but finding there were more stories to tell, this author set about creating some prequels, of which this is one.

As a newly promoted detective, Erlendur has a newly discovered battered body to deal with, as well as a cold case involving the decades old disappearance of a schoolgirl nagging away in his head. Our hero is quickly mixed up in matters that involve the basest human emotions, and the grandest political arenas.

Top marks to the translator (Victoria Cribb) for a flawless piece of work, rendering this somewhat sparse Icelandic tale as it should be: dark, cold, and threatening. The characters are life like, and the backdrop authentic and enthralling. Erlendur and his colleagues stay true to their calling in the dogged pursuit of justice, even if it does not always take them where you might think.

Classic crime fiction as it should be. It leaves an impact long after you have read the last word. And then you begin the wait for the next one.