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First look: new Erlendur novel Oblivion

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oblivion_firstlook_540_01It’s here! Yes, Oblivion seemed as though it would be a mysterious enigma for ages but we have a copy and we can confirm that it’s the second novel in the ‘early Erlendur’ series by Arnaldur Indridason to be translated into English. It follows on from Reykjavik Nights, but The Great Match, the first of the three written in Icelandic so far, remains to be translated. All three books are prequels to the hugely popular Erlendur series which includes Jar City, Hypothermia and Strange Shores.

The book launches on 9 July, and the hardback has a fantastically moody photo on the cover, together with the author’s name and the word Oblivion in green-ish block capitals. The word has been distressed with scratch marks – possibly from a screwdriver, or more likely a knife… Go ahead and judge it by it’s cover, because going on Arnaldur’s past form Oblivion is likely to be a dark, moody and engaging read.

For this outing, Erlendur Sveinsson has been promoted to detective, and in his spare time he’s investigating the cold case of a young schoolgirl who went missing 25 years prior. Everyone has forgotten her, but not Erlendur. Part of the story is set around the Keflavik area south of Reykjavik, which is today home to the country’s main airport but once hosted a US naval base. In a vast aircraft hanger, a man falls from a high platform. Meanwhile, in another remote part of Iceland a body is found in a hot spring. Are the cases linked? Could they even connect to Erlendur’s cold case? Well, to add to the intrigue there’s a rogue CIA agent operating in the country – another problem for Erlendur to contend with.

To support the launch of the book, Arnaldur Indridason will be making a rare public appearance at this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on 20 July. He’s now sold over 10 million copies worldwide – proving that Erelndur is one of the world’s most popular crime fiction detectives.

This could be one of the picks of the summer. Watch for our review soon, as well as for the paperback release of Reykjavik Nights, also on 9 July.

You can read our guide to the Erlendur series here. For more Scandinavian crime fiction click here. To pre-order Oblivion click here.

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