Arctic Chill

arcticchill“They were able to guess his age, but had more trouble determining which part of the world he came from.”

Arctic Chill
By Arnaldur Indridason

Frigid temperatures and dark days are the backdrop for this mystery featuring Reykjavik police detective Erlendur. This time his team is called out to investigate the murder of a Icelandic-Thai boy. His body was found in the garden of his apartment, lifeless from a knife wound to his stomach.

By all accounts Elias, the ten year old boy, was well-liked by his teachers and friends but as Erlendur investigates he realizes that there are many who people who are wary of immigrants and others who downright don’t want to mix with them.

When Elias’s older brother disappears Erlendur doesn’t know if another crime has been committed or if Niran is the guilty party. On top of trying to find Niran quickly, Erlendur is plagued by thoughts of another crime his trying to solve and a woman caller who he can’t decipher.

So not only is the main plot tragic, as it surrounds the death of a child, but Erlendur is also struggling with the recent death of his mentor, his poor relationship with his son and daughter and his guilt over the death of his own brother when they were children. All of this makes for a very somber mood.

I have enjoyed other entries in this series a bit more. I found the resolution to this mystery a bit of a letdown and overall it was sad but I will be back for more because I’ve read that there will be an end to this series in a couple of more books and I am hoping for some closure for Detective Erlendur.

Source: Library copy

The Outcast Dead

outcastdead“But she approves of the Payers for the Outcast Dead. This brief ecumenical service is held every year for the unknown dead of Norwich: the bodies thrown into unmarked graves, the paupers, the plague victims, forgotten, unmourned, except by this motley collection of archaeologists, historians and sundry hangers-on.”

The Outcast Dead
By Elly Griffiths

As a forensic archeologist, Ruth Galloway’s latest project is a dig in Norwich Castle. There she uncovers the bones of Mother Hook, a notorious woman convicted of killing five children in 1867. This calls the attention of a popular television series Women Who Kill and Ruth reluctantly accepts to be involved in sharing Mother Hook’s story.

As Ruth delves deeper into the story she begins to wonder if the Jemima Green (Mother Hook) was unjustly accused and her only crime was loving the children she was caring for. Meanwhile, DCI Harry Nelson is also involved in a modern day case of a child’s death. Is the mother guilty or was it just a tragedy?

The author weaves the two mysteries and brings Ruth and Harry together to help solve the cases. As usual, Ruth and Harry’s relationship is complicated. He is married and is not planning to leave his wife but is he comfortable with Ruth moving on?

The resolution seemed a bit rushed and there was a major lapse in judgment that I can’t believe Ruth would have made but that aside I loved reading about Cathbad, Ruth’s druid friend, and the Saltmarsh where Ruth lives.  I also see some progression in the series which is something that makes me keep coming back to see what happens next.

Source: Borrowed from friend

For The Bookshelf

aprilarcsI feel like for the past couple of weeks I’ve been telling you about new books that have arrived in my mailbox and I just haven’t had a chance to share. So I’ll probably have to share this in parts. Anyway, thank you to the courtesy of publishers here are the books that have arrived:

The Hurlyburly’s Husband by Jean Teulé. I still haven’t read his American debut, The Suicide Shop, but I can say that both sound extremely good so I think I’ll be in for a treat.

The Dead Wife’s Handbook by Hannah Beckerman.  Rachel, Max and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life – until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating. Sounds like this book may require me to have some Kleenex on-hand.

A Dark Song of Blood by Ben Pastor. I believe this is another entry in the Martin Bora series set in Italy during WWII. Would like to read this one but will have to start with the first book, Lumen.

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler. I think this is Fantasy which I don’t read much of but it’s supposed to be a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire. Could be fun.

Lydia’s Party by Margaret Hawkins. I’ve seen this one mentioned around the blogosphere and I am looking forward to reading this story of friendship.

I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira. Not only does this book have a pretty cover but it’s a story about Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. This has to be good, right?

What about you? Received any new ARCs recently?