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A tense, atmospheric and disturbing novel from one of Europe's greatest crime writers.

About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. His books have since sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Oli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger.


Gold Dagger Award-winner Indridason stumbles in his third Reykjavik thriller to feature Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson (after 2006's Silence of the Grave). A few days before Christmas, Erlendur and his colleagues, El!nborg and Sigurdur Oli, look into the scandalous murder of Gudlaugur, a local Santa Claus, at a busy hotel. As Erlendur and his team scramble to find a motive for the seemingly senseless crime, disturbing secrets from Gudlaugur's past begin to surface. In a hotel full of foreign holiday guests, Erlendur investigates everyone from a slippery British record collector to a sullen maid who reminds Erlendur of his own daughter. Snippets of a previous investigation involving child abuse distract from the Gudlaugur case. Despite a drawn-out climax where Erlendur tries to put all the pieces together, most readers will predict the terrible secret that led to Gudlaugur's death. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gripping, authentic, haunting... The best new series I've read this year comes from Iceland. Arnaldur Indridason is already a literary phenomenon - and it's easy to see why ... I can't wait for the next -- Harlan Coben
Keeps you guessing right until the end * Mail on Sunday *
Once again Indridason demonstrates that the best Scandinavian crime writers can hold their own against their British and American rivals * Spectator *
Outstanding * Irish Times *
Morosely, intelligently, Erlendur unravels the mystery. With Voices, Indridason proves that his Gold Dagger victory for Silence of the Grave last year was no fluke * The Times *

Indridason turns introspective in his third mystery translated into English (after the award-winning Jar City and Silence of the Grave), a thriller that occurs over just six days before Christmas. In the midst of the holiday rush at a Reykjavik hotel, the doorman who portrays Santa Claus is found stabbed in his basement room, in costume and wearing a condom with his pants around his ankles. When Inspector Erlendur learns that the victim was once a celebrated choirboy who was never able to experience a real childhood, he's reminded of the death of his younger brother in a blizzard, which he himself survived. Erlendeur also has to deal with his drug-addicted daughter mourning the recent loss of her baby and a child abuse case involving an eight-year-old boy, which takes a turn that distresses Erlendur's colleague Elinborg. A long-divorced loner, Erlendur takes residence in the hotel, weighing motives of greed and hatred and developing a promising romantic relationship while coworkers worry about his lack of Christmas plans. An exceptional psychological study-Erlendur struggles with his past and his present-this won the Martin Beck Award in Sweden for the best crime novel in translation. In Jungstedt's second mystery (after Unseen), Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas of Gotland has both a murdered alcoholic photographer and a missing 14-year-old girl on his hands. Along with his closest colleague, Detective Inspector Karin Jacobsson, Knutas is assisted by smitten reporter Johan Berg, who turns up leads as he pursues married Emma Winarve, whose bond to her children has her vacillating between her lover and her husband. Inevitably, the two cases are found to be linked-and become painfully personal for Knutas. Jungstedt's portrayal of the victims-particularly of young biracial Fanny Jansson, daughter of a single alcoholic mother-are especially sharp, as she continues to develop the characters from her debut novel. The result is a more polished sequel and ending with a cliff-hanger that whets interest for her next. Featuring perpetrators acting out of desperation and a certain insularity with their island locales, both novels are recommended for collections where dark, foreign mysteries are popular, but probably not for holiday reading.-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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