Jar City - Arnaldur Indriðason

***** A wet, dirty, bad Iceland

Officer Erlendur from the police in Reykjavík is investigating the murder of a lorry driver. It seems a trivial case of robbery attempt gone badly, but the investigations take him farther, in the past of the victim.
The image that the author gives of Iceland is disturbing and gloomy. In a dark and rainy autumn, Erlendur and his colleagues gather evidence, interrogate and dig, sometimes literally, until a story of rapes, suicides and deadly diseases emerges.
The same gloom is also present in the subplot involving Erlendur’s daughter, Eva Lind, and a girl who inexplicably disappears immediately after her wedding. Here we are dealing with drugs and abuse.
Immersed in this setting, which is anything but happy, the reader is captured by the story and tries to follow the reasoning of the protagonist in getting away with an extremely intricate case, one of those that in reality, if they were ever resolved, would take months if not years of investigation. Here the author is good at giving information in small pieces and, when the reader believes they have understood something, he distracts them with a twist. And, despite the great amount of details and the many names not easy to remember, you can still easily follow the story until its conclusion.
Here, if I have to find something negative in this book this is the ending, both the one of the case and the brief epilogue. The former is perhaps a bit too dramatic (I don’t explain why to avoid spoilers). The latter, in the way it is shown, is a little too hasty. It seems almost to read the sentences written at the end of a film telling what happened next to the characters, followed by the classic short scene after the credits.

A note: despite being defined a thriller on the cover, this book is actually a mystery.

Jar City on Amazon.