Jar City

Jar City

A Reykjavik Thriller

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
10
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Publisher: New York : Picador, [2006]
Edition: 1st Picador ed
ISBN: 9780312426385
0312426380
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY ARNALDUR 2006
Characteristics: 289 p. : maps ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Scudder, Bernard 1954-2007

Opinion

From Library Staff

From the frigid land of Iceland comes the first in a series starring Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson. When a lonely old man is found murdered in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl’s grave. Inspector Erlendur, who heads the inve... Read More »

Solitary police detective Erlendur Sveinssen solves crimes in Reykjavik, Iceland while dealing with ghosts from his personal and professional past. First in the series.


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l
loudem
May 14, 2017

My first (but not my last) from this author. Excellent is the only word for this novel. No question about it. The pace is just perfect, the humanity of the characters is very believable, and Erlendur is a knowledgeable policeman working sometime from gut feelings. He's as human as the rest of us, flaws and all. A very honest novel.

JCLHilaryS Mar 22, 2017

The first English translation in a series of Icelandic mysteries, I found Jar City to be a quirky read. When a man is found dead, bludgeoned to death by an ashtray in his own home, Detective Sigurder Óli says it must be a 'typical Icelandic murder' because it seems to be fairly straight-forward. But of course it's not because that would be a terribly boring story. With a minimum of clues, Detective Erlendur starts piecing together bits of the victim's life and crimes he committed 40 years ago. From there he begins to look at why he was killed now and not back then, and who could have killed him.

u
uncommonreader
Mar 12, 2015

Crime fiction. The setting in Iceland is interesting, as is the information about Iceland's Genetic Research Centre, possible because of the country's small and contained population. Otherwise, the book is standard fare.

LMcShaneCLE Jul 19, 2014

I am a big fan of Ian Rankin's mysteries - this author follows a similar format - with the hard-boiled senior detective and younger associate - very noire :)

b
billmacrotarian
Dec 27, 2013

Jar City is the first of a series set in Iceland. The murder is current (2001) and may have been triggered by events 40 years earlier. Scandinavian crime novels have become popular with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Wallander series. A common theme is that historically the authorities abused their powers. Add some Kafkaesque elements and there's a winning combination.

m
MPMP
Jun 16, 2013

This book won the Glass Key Award for best mystery by a Scandinavian author. Amazingly, the author won again the following year. I can only surmise that no other mysteries were published in those two years. This book is dense, turgid, depressing, and illogical.

Other winners of the Glass Key Award include Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson ("Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", etc), so the award is normally credible.

l
LindaMarion
Jun 07, 2013

have read most of arnaldur indridason's books. this is an early book but a very good book indeed!

c
CB2295
Jan 09, 2012

This is book #3 in the Erlandur series, though books 1 and 2 have not been translated into English. I ended up reading this book twice; I read it a second time because I hadn’t made reading notes the first time round and so I thought I hadn’t read the book yet. I liked it better the first time; the second time round the storyline seemed a bit too pat, but the characters (even the bad guys) are mostly well filled out and are given both good sides and bad sides so that we understand what is driving them and the characters are not just story fillers. One British reviewer said that the book was “engrossing” while another said it is “richly convoluted and oddly haunted”. All in all, it’s a good read, but “engrossing”? Well, sort of (I did read it in one day the second time around), but is it “richly convoluted and oddly haunted”? No, it’s good but that reviewer went way too too far unless he/she is easily satisfied and also is used to reading airport-quality stuff. Still, I have hung in there and read later books in the series.

b
bronwynp
Mar 20, 2011

Very good mystery novel

b
BCapples
Dec 04, 2009

A mon avis le meilleur de Arnaldur Indridasson.

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