Hypothermia (Inspector Erlendur Series #6)

Hypothermia (Inspector Erlendur Series #6)

by Arnaldur Indridason

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312610593
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Series: Inspector Erlendur Series , #6
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 171,510
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason was born in 1961. He worked at an Icelandic newspaper, first as a journalist and then for many years as a film reviewer. He won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel for both Jar City and Silence of the Grave, and in 2005 Silence of the Grave also won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of the year. (The film of Jar City, now available on DVD, was Iceland's entry for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.) Indridason lives in Iceland, and his next novel in the series is forthcoming soon from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur.

Read an Excerpt

1
 
The emergency line received a call from a mobile phone shortly after midnight. An agitated female voice cried:
 
'She's . . . María's killed herself . . . I . . . it's horrible . . . horrible!'
 
'What's your name, please?'
 
'Ka – Karen.'
 
'Where are you calling from?' the emergency operator asked.
 
'I'm at . . . it's . . . her holiday cottage . . .'
 
'Where? Where is it?'
 
'. . . At Lake Thingvallavatn. At . . . at her holiday cottage. Please hurry . . . I . . . I'll be here . . .'
 
 
Karen thought she would never find the cottage. It had been a long time, nearly four years, since her last visit. María had given her detailed directions just to be on the safe side, but they had more or less gone in one ear and out the other because Karen had assumed she would remember the way.
 
It was past eight in the evening and pitch dark by the time she left Reykjavík. She drove over Mosfellsheidi moor where there was little traffic, just the odd pair of headlights passing by on their way to town. Only one other car was travelling east and she hung on its red rear lights, grateful for the company. She didn't like driving alone in the dark and would have set off earlier if she hadn't been held up. She worked in the public-relations department of a large bank and it had seemed as if the meetings and phone calls would never let up.
 
Karen was aware of the mountain Grímannsfell to her right, although she couldn't see it, and Skálafell to her left. Next she drove past the turning to Vindáshlíd where she had once spent a two-week summer holiday as a child. She followed the red tail lights at a comfortable speed until they drove down through the Kerlingarhraun lava field, and there their ways parted. The red lights accelerated and disappeared into the darkness. She wondered if they were heading for the pass at Uxahryggir and north over the Kaldidalur mountain road. She had often taken that route herself. It was a beautiful drive down the Lundarreykjadalur valley to Borgarfjördur fjord. The memory of a lovely summer's day once spent at Lake Sandkluftavatn came back to her.
 
Karen herself turned right and drove on into the blackness of the Thingvellir national park. She had difficulty identifying the landmarks in the gloom. Should she have turned off sooner? Was this the right turning down to the lake? Or was it the next? Had she come too far?
 
Twice she went wrong and had to turn round. It was a Thursday evening and most of the cottages were empty. She had brought along a supply of food and reading material, and María had told her that they had recently installed a television in the cottage. But Karen's main intention was to try to sleep, to get some rest. The bank was like a madhouse after the recent abortive takeover. She had reached the point where she could no longer make any sense of the infighting between the different factions among the major shareholders. Press releases were issued at two-hourly intervals and, to make matters worse, it transpired that a severance payment of a hundred million krónur had been promised to one of the bank's partners, someone whom a particular faction wanted to fire. The board had succeeded in stirring up public outrage, and it was Karen's job to smooth things over. It had been like this for weeks now and she was at the end of her tether by the time it occurred to her to escape from town. María had often offered to lend her the cottage for a few days, so Karen decided to give her a call. 'Of course,' María had said at once.
 
Karen made her way slowly along a primitive track through low-growing scrub until her headlights lit up the cottage down by the water. María had given her a key and told her where they kept a spare. It was sometimes useful to have an extra key hidden at the cottage.
 
She was looking forward to waking up tomorrow morning amidst the autumn colours of Thingvellir. For as long as she could remember people had flocked to the national park in the autumn, since few places in the country could boast such a brilliant display of colour as here by the lake where the rust-red and orange shades of the dying leaves extended as far as the eye could see.
 
She started to ferry her luggage from the car to the sun deck beside the door. Then, putting the key in the lock, she opened the door and groped for the light switch. The light came on in the hallway leading to the kitchen and she took her little suitcase inside and placed it in the master bedroom. To her surprise, the bed was unmade. That was not like María. A towel was lying on the floor of the lavatory. When she turned on the light in the kitchen she became aware of a strange presence. Although she was not afraid of the dark, she felt a sudden sensation of physical unease. The living room was in darkness. By daylight there was a superb view of the lake from its windows.
 
Karen turned on the living-room light.
 
Four solid beams extended across the ceiling, and from one of them a body was hanging, its back turned to her.
 
Shock sent her crashing back against the wall and her head slammed into the wood panelling. Everything went black. The body hung from the beam by a thin blue cord, mirrored in the dark living-room window. She didn't know how long it was before she dared to inch closer. The tranquil surroundings of the lake had in an instant been converted into the setting for a horror story that she would never forget. Every detail was etched on her memory. The kitchen stool, out of place in the minimalist living room, lying on its side under the body; the blue of the rope; the reflection in the window; the darkness of Thingvellir; the motionless human body suspended from the beam.
 
Karen approached cautiously and caught sight of the swollen blue face. Her ghastly suspicion proved correct. It was her friend María.

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Hypothermia 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
macabr More than 1 year ago
The atmosphere of HYPOTHERMIA is cold. The weather is cold and so are many of the characters, cold to the needs and the fears of those who trust them. Maria is devastated by her mother's death. Leonora had been dying for two years, slowly being consumed by cancer. Maria is married to Baldvin, a doctor, but it is the relationship with her mother that has determined her life. Since her father's death when Maria was ten, Leonora has protected her daughter from all danger and over-protected so that Maria was afraid to move beyond the boundaries established by Leonora. Not deeply involved in this life, she is obsessed by the next one. Inspector Erlendur is given the task of meeting with Baldvin after he has been notified of his wife's death. The doctor maintains there was nothing in his wife's behavior or attitude that suggested that she was contemplating suicide. He acknowledges that Maria was still consumed by her mother's death but he thought she was improving. But Erlendur is approached by Maria's best friend, Karen, the woman who found the body at the summer cottage. She gives Erlendur a tape that was made during a seance and she tells the inspector that Maria believed in dreams and that Leonora was going to send her a sign if there was, indeed, life in the next world. The old man was back to see Erlendur, a visit he has made, first with his wife, for nearly thirty years. His son, David, had disappeared without a trace but the old man is convinced beyond question that he did not commit suicide. Erlendur has kept the case open for the sake of the father; now the old man tells Erlendur that this will be his last visit. He is dying and is living in a nursing home and he is resigned to dying without ever knowing what happened to his son. A woman disappeared at the same time as David. The woman, Gudrun, was a student who disappeared while her parents were traveling in China and Japan. Reliable phone contact wasn't a given and calls over such a long distance had to be booked in advance. They didn't realize their daughter was missing until they returned to Europe, two months after Gudrun had last been seen. They blamed themselves for being out of touch but they, too, insisted that she would never have committed suicide. Erlendur has no reasonsable excuse for continuing to investigate Maria's suicide. He has no reasonable expectation of being able to solve the missing persons cases after nearly thirty years, but Erlendur is compelled to keep searching just as he his compelled to continue searching for his brother, lost in a blizzard when Erlendur was ten and his brother only eight. He has always felt guilty that he survived and his brother did not. Erlendur is surrounded by ghosts. Maria, her father, Magnus, her mother, Leonora, David, Gudrun, the man lost in the blizzard and his brother, Bergur. Indridason is a master of psychological manipulation. It is the characters that move the story, not the events. His characters are perfectly normal and, sometimes, perfectly evil.
MSbookloverCT More than 1 year ago
Loved this book...it's an old fashioned murder mystery, Nordic style. Past and present are woven seamlessly to create a whodunit with plenty of twists and turns and a mystical feel. Can't wait to read the others in the series!
Lynie More than 1 year ago
Inspector Erlunder is a sad and solitary man. He's haunted by the ghosts of unsolved crimes as well as the long ago disappearance of his brother and his failed marriage. He's hounded by his troubled daughter and son to try to rekindle a relationship with his ex-wife, something neither of them wants. Amidst all of his personal angst, he's currently investigating the suspected suicide of a young woman while still puzzling over two young people who went missing over 30 years ago. Slowly and methodically, Erlunder unfolds a sinister plot surrounding the young woman's death, as well as fitting together the pieces of the puzzle of the thirty year disappearance. HYPOTHERMIA is a quiet mystery. Without pages filled with blood and gore, the focus is on Indridason's characters and Indridason intricately weaves Erlunder's own story into the cases he's trying to solve in this chilly Icelandic suspense novel. Lynn Kimmerle
luso More than 1 year ago
Hypothermia stay true to the cold feeling of this series. The mystery in this book didn't captivate me as thoroughly as some of the others in the series. Nevertheless, the weaving of two mysteries into one was phenomenal and in the end left me with great anticipation for the next. At this point I will probably read anything Mr. Indridason puts out.
Maeday More than 1 year ago
I love Inspector Erlunder. Can't wait for the next book (in paperback).
AndreaSG More than 1 year ago
Really atmospheric, difficult, dark- if you like Henning Mankell, or any of the other Scandinavian writers like Jo Nesbo this will really appeal to you.
callmecayce on LibraryThing 27 days ago
I think this was actually his best that I've read. I think maybe part of it was the fact that this book has a new translator, but really I think it's because the plot was so utterly enthralling. Usually, Indriðason's Detective Erlendur deals with a murder that he and his coworkers must solve. But in Hypothermia, there is no real murder, but instead a suicide. Which you think would make the novel kind of lame, but instead it's fascinating. It's about Erlendur's obsession with this suicide, as well as with several open missing persons cases. And we also get to spend more time with Erlendur's family, and his past. I really loved this one best.
jmyers24 on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is back full force in Hypothermia, the sixth title in Arnaldur Indridason'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 Maria 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 Maria'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.Indridason 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 Indridason.
cmeilink on LibraryThing 27 days ago
I received a free copy of this book from First Reads and I couldn't put it down. The pace of the story was perfect and Indridason's characters were wonderful.Erlendur is an inspector with the Reykjavík police force who becomes intrigued with the case of an apparent suicide. Although nothing seems particularly suspicious, he cannot let the case go and methodically follows the threads of the case to see where they might lead.While pursuing the leads on this case, he also recommences his work on two long dead cases of a young man and a young woman who went missing 30 years ago. The father of the missing boy is dying and before he dies, Erlendur wants to uncover the mystery surrounding the boy's disappearance.With excellent pacing, Erlendur slowly uncovers the truth behind the suicide and the disappearances. This book is a great read! Although I've never read any of Indridason's prior works, I was so impressed by this book that I will be reading his other books as well. I highly recommend Hypothermia!
jimrbrown on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Another brilliant Erlandur story. Hope they translate more to English soon. After reading all his translated novels I feel the need to visit some of his beautiful-sounding but dark-sounding Icelandic locations.
maneekuhi on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Hypothermia is the sixth book in the Erlendur series by Arnauld Indridason, a series that continues to get better and better. The novel begins with a suicide, and like most Erlendur books it also deals with cases unsolved for many years. Add to this the on-going shadow of the tragic death of Erlendur's younger brother at the age of eight, a death that continues to haunt. There are many ghosts in this story, not the ghosts of halloween nor TV serials but rather the spirits who may await those who believe in life after death, the main theme of this book. This story is principally Erlendur's; his police colleagues play rather minor roles here, and that is a good break. His difficulties in connecting with his grown children remain, but there is positive movement in this story. Altogether a very satisfying addition to the series; fans will be eager for the next. Hypothermia earns a very rare 5-star from ths reviewer.
willmurdoch on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Not really as cold as the title sounds. The Icelandic names are very fun and sound thrilling to timid anglo-saxons. The foods are a bit scary though...
cameling on LibraryThing 27 days ago
An historian is found hanging from a noose in her holiday cottage and a case of suicide is declared. Detective Erlendur, for want of a gruesome homicide to solve, starts to wonder what would cause a seemingly well adjusted woman decide to take her life, leaving behind a grieving husband and many friends. With nothing pressing at work, he begins a private investigation of his own, to try and understand the woman and her past, and his curiosity unravels a childhood with a protective mother who succumbed to cancer 2 years ago, and a traumatic death of her father when he drowned in a lake when she was but 8 years old.In an unrelated incidence, the anniversary of his own mother's death looms and with it, memories of his brother who had gone missing during a blizzard when he was 10 years old surface even more frequently. A visit from an old man whose son had been missing for 30 years gets him reviving a cold case, driven to try and find answers for a father who was himself ill and unlikely to visit him again.His quiet persistence leads him to raise more questions and uncover interesting answers. He discovers unrecorded medical experiments, love and secrets.Different from his earlier works, this novel, nonetheless keeps you as enthralled as the others.
enewt823 on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Another excellend entry in the Inspector Erlendur series. Two unrelated missing persons cases from 30 years ago haunt the inspector and finally get connected and solved by the depressive detective in this Icelandic mystery. The detective's son and daughter figure more in this book than others I have read, with Eva Lind (daughter) requesting a meeting between her long separated parents. There is also a suspected "suicide" being investigated off-the-books.With his obvious police intuition, Erlendur smells and discovers something fishy. Again, excellent read and definite recommend to fans of mystery, Indridason or Erlendur.
SuzReads on LibraryThing 27 days ago
Excellent book! This was my first "Icelandic thriller" and I have to say it was definitely different from an "American thriller" but I still enjoyed it. A detective from Iceland is presented with a suicide that looks suspicious to him so he investigates it even after everyone else has given up on it. He is also still trying to find people who have been missing for 20 years. The author does a great job of weaving the multiple investigations together with the life and background of the detective to give us a better understanding of why the detective hates to give up on his cases. Being labeled as a thriller, I expected the pace of the action to be faster but I found the characters so compelling that I was glad to have the extra time to learn about them as the story progressed. If American thrillers are action packed roller coaster rides, then this Icelandic thriller was more like a haunted house ride - periods of calm in which to examine the mysteries of the human psyche mixed with surprising jolts. A very nice ride and I would definitely recommend this book!
smik on LibraryThing 28 days ago
When a woman hangs herself in her lakeside retreat, the friend who finds the body is convinced that while she was depressed she was not suicidal. Erlendur on the other hand wants to understand why she did it.It appears that Maria has never recovered from the death of her mother a few months before, or perhaps the drowning of her father when she was barely a teenager. She has been consulting psychics and is convinced her dead mother is leaving messages for her.Erlendur is visited by the father of a university student who disappeared nearly two decades before. The visits have become annual but now the old man reveals he has only a matter of weeks to live. Erlendur decides to make one last effort on the cold case and finds out something that he missed at the time.Erlendur's own narrow scrape with death, when his younger brother disappeared, is never far from his thoughts. He tells his daughter Eva Lind that no day passes without him thinking about it. Eva Lind on the other hand wants her parents, estranged for nearly all her life, to get back together. Erlendur is convinced that it will never happen.This is an engrossing, many stranded novel, delivered in Indridason's typically spare style. It progresses our understanding of what makes Erlendur tick, at the same time allowing the new reader to treat the book almost as a stand alone. Indridason gives sufficient backstory I think, although that is always hard to judge when you have read most of the offerings in a series.It would be tempting to simply see HYPOTHERMIA as an Icelandic contribution to the police procedural genre, but in Erlendur we have a detective who is driven by more than the need to solve a case. In fact in this novel he is often operating outside the team. His colleagues know he is working on something but not what. He calls in favours and pursues threads because of hunches. Even when working with a colleague he will go beyond the agreed procedures.
Scrabblenut on LibraryThing 28 days ago
This is another tale with the unorthodox Inspector Erlendur in Reykjavik, Iceland, who sets off on his own to find out why a woman would commit suicide at her holiday cottage. Certain aspects of the tale start to ring alarm bells, and with absolutely no evidence and with no sanction from his superiors, he conducts interviews and finds out the whole amazing story. At the same time he continues to investigate a missing person so he can bring some peace to the boy's father before he passes away, and the two cases become connected in a random remark. I have really enjoyed this whole series and this one is no exception. Highly recommended.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing 28 days ago
There's a subtle elegance to this particular story, considering it's a novel of crime fiction. There are no raging maniacs with axes hanging about, no serial killers, and no serious threats to the people of Reykjavik. In fact, there seems to be a lull in crime as this story opens, and Erlendur has some time to go back to some very cold cases. While pondering the ones that got away unanswered, he becomes involved with a new case, that of a woman who was found hanging in her vacation home. There are no signs to indicate anything other than suicide, but her friend Karen isn't so sure. Karen brings Erlendur a cassette tape of the dead woman's previous session with a medium and gets his attention. Working on his own, with no official police involvement, Erlendur works to find out why this woman took her own life. In a brief phone chat with Sigurdur Oli, when Erlendur notes that he wants to know "why she committed suicide," Erlendur explains why: [Sigurdur Oli asks] " 'What's it to you?' 'Nothing,' Erlendur said. 'Absolutely nothing.' 'I thought you were only interested in missing-person cases.' 'Suicide is a missing-person case too,' Erlendur said and hung up on him."Given Erlendur's background with the brother who was lost in a blinding snowstorm, his interest in the lost is no surprise. And it's no surprise that he identifies with the ones left behind, for example, the grieving father who has checked in with Erlendur every year since his son vanished. For this man, time is running out because he's dying, and Erlendur wants him to go with answers. There's another missing persons case Erlendur goes back to as well -- that of a young woman who vanished one day, car and all. But it's the suicide that takes most of his time, as he gets into the head of the dead woman, just trying to figure out why.Hypothermia is an excellent novel, and will give you pause to consider the nature of grieving and loss as you follow Erlendur throughout. Probably more than any of the previous novels in the series, place is itself a character, especially the cold and lonely lakes of Iceland. I loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have read the whole series. This was no where as good as the others. Surprised at the other reviews. Preposterous plot. The entire book had one boring theme
bopdocret More than 1 year ago
Absolutely fascinating and intriguing. A great, great read as are the others in this series
Book_LoverVA More than 1 year ago
Forget the morose Swedes and dark dismal Sweden - not you have a morose detective in dark dismal Iceland. That means the criminals have little place to go, little daylight to move in, and only 130,000 other people with whom they can speak (the total world-wide speakers of Icelandic). If you have been to Iceland (we have in both mid-summer and mid-winter) you will love it. If you have not - you will want to go. A good read.
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