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Monday, February 12, 2018

The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indridason

The sin of the father is the theme of Arnaldur Indridason’s newest novel, The Shadow District. This is a new series for Indridason. Will we ever know about Erlander’s fate as he seeks the truth of the disappearance of his brother in the East Fjords of Iceland? Or is he lost forever in Iceland, too?
The new series involves Iceland during WWII and the occupation of the island by Allied troops. Two girls in different areas of Iceland are raped and murdered. What links them is the singularly unique fact that both girls were told to blame in on the elf people, especially the huldufolk. Iceland lore is filled with such folklore. This rich tradition was one way to get through those long dark winters. The other part to the story takes place today as the unsolved murders reemerge and involves the some of the characters from the past. The past crimes are solved in the present by one of the original investigators, Stepan Thorson who alerts the present police with his untimely death. He was suffocated in his sleep. He was in his nineties. He survived Normandy. Why was he killed?
Indridason provides a great cast of characters. Our new hero, Konrad, a retired police officer, comes back to help in this case. Oddly enough he, too, is connected to this case because his father, a debunked medium at the time had suggested there was a second girl next to the other murdered girl in question. Konrad’s father was embarrassed and ruined. But he was right, although his methods are what is called into question about his character.
Not only are the sin of the father visited upon Konrad, it is also visited upon a family of three generations who are influential, wealthy politicians. The entire adventure of this case is fun and rewarding. Another masterpiece from Arnaldur Indridason.

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