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Hypothermia: An Icelandic Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason
Translated by Victoria Cribb;
Review by Verna Suit
Picador Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312610593
Date: 27 September 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Wikipedia Entry / YouTube Book Trailer / Show Official Info /

A young married woman named Maria is found hanged in her lakeside cabin and declared a suicide. When she was a child she was traumatized by seeing her father drown and lately was despondent after the cancer death of her mother. Maria had been obsessed with the idea of life after death and presumably, by killing herself, hoped to be reunited with her mother, with whom she was very close. So suicide may very well be the explanation. Nevertheless, Detective Erlendur feels compelled to examine her death and its cause in great detail. He is drawn by her strong desire to see her loved one again, an idea that resonates with him after losing his younger brother in a blizzard. It happened many years ago but Erlendur still hunts for his brother today.

Reunion with loved ones is a theme running through the story. Besides looking into Maria's death, Erlendur dredges up two missing person cases from 30 years ago. In both instances, a young person disappeared suddenly and inexplicably. The parents never ceased hoping their children would return or their disappearance would be explained.

Also by Arnaldur Indridason:
* Jar City
* Silence of the Grave
* Voices
* Arctic Chill
* Hypothermia

In a situation closer to home and more delicate, Erlendur's daughter wants her parents to reunite for at least some civil conversation. Erlendur and his ex-wife Halldora have barely spoken for many years and he doubts any good will come from doing so again.

Erlendur himself is a wonderful character, a perfect representative of frozen, bankrupt Iceland. He typically goes his own gloomy way, happiest in his own company. At work, he chooses the cases he wants to work on and then meticulously tracks down everyone remotely connected to the subject, inevitably arriving at the obscure and usually ironic solution to the mystery. Then he goes home to a solitary supper of jellied sheep's head.

Hypothermia will be a perverse delight to Indridason's many fans.

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