Detective Erlendur Sveinsson
created by Arnaldur Indridason, in a series of award-winning mysteries set in Iceland, starting with Jar City/Tainted Blood
Rekyjavik, Iceland where he’s a detective with the city’s CID.
Sigurdur Oli, gruff, temperamental and impatient, and the more empathetic Elinborg, mother of three and a cookbook author in her spare time.
In shambles. Divorced and the father of two adult but estranged children who he walked out on when they were very young. His ex-wife hates him. Periodically he tries to rebuild his relationship with his daughter Eva, a recovering drug addict. Occasionally sees Valgerdur, a biomedical scientist, but finds it difficult to open up about his feelings.
Favourite reading material:
Old Icelandic sagas and folklore and books about tragedies in extreme weather conditions.
Smokes too much, sleeps too little, eats badly, broods a lot. Withdraws into himself and becomes very moody.
Solves his cases with dedicated, old-fashioned police work, long hours and multiple interviews with suspects and witnesses. While doing so, he delves into political and social issues in Iceland such as xenophobia, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
He’s never forgiven himself for the disappearance of his younger brother in a snowstorm when they were both children. His brother’s body has never been found and Erlendur has had an obsession with missing persons cases ever since. He believes they are a particularly Icelandic crime due to a cultural indifference in a country where harsh weather and a high suicide rate are prominent characteristics.
Where is he now? At the end of Hypothermia, Erlendur took some time off and went away to the Eastern fjords where his brother disappeared so many years ago, leaving his colleague Elinborg to solve the murder at the heart of Outrage. During that case, she gets a call from someone who has found Erlendur’s car, abandoned in a small town. There’s been no sign of him for weeks. Hopefully we’ll find out what has happened in future books. I’d like to know he was safe.