Book Review: Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason (2000)

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason is a murder mystery novel set in Reykjavik, Iceland. The story begins with the discovery of a man’s body in his apartment. The victim, Holberg, was an elderly man with no apparent enemies or reason to be murdered.

Inspector Erlendur, the lead detective in the case, begins to investigate the crime and discovers that Holberg was linked to a decades-old unsolved rape case. Erlendur suspects that the rape case may be connected to Holberg’s murder and begins to dig deeper into the victim’s past.

As Erlendur delves into the case, he uncovers a complex web of secrets, lies, and family histories that are linked to the rape case and the victim’s murder. He also discovers that Holberg was involved in genetic research and may have had a motive for carrying out his own investigation.

The investigation takes Erlendur to the remote and desolate countryside of Iceland, where he uncovers more information about the victim’s past and the people connected to him. Ultimately, the case leads to a surprising and unexpected conclusion.

Jar City explores themes such as familial relationships, the consequences of past actions, and the impact of scientific progress on society. It is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that provides a fascinating insight into Icelandic culture and history.

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason is a superbly written murder mystery novel that takes the reader on a fascinating journey through Icelandic culture and history. The book is both a compelling crime thriller and a thought-provoking exploration of the impact of scientific progress on society.

The character of Inspector Erlendur is intriguing, with his troubled past and his relentless pursuit of justice. The novel is not just about the murder case at hand, but also about Erlendur’s personal struggles and how they impact his work as a detective.

The plot is complex and well-crafted, with enough twists and turns to keep the reader hooked until the end. The links between the present murder case and a decades-old unsolved rape case provide a deepening of the story and a sense of historical continuity.

The author’s descriptions of Icelandic landscapes, culture, and history are evocative and immersive, providing a unique setting for the story. The inclusion of genetic research in the plot adds a layer of scientific intrigue, making the book not just a murder mystery but a commentary on the societal implications of scientific progress.

Jar City is a masterful murder mystery that combines excellent writing, a complex plot, and a deep exploration of Icelandic culture and history. It is a must-read for anyone interested in crime fiction, Icelandic culture, or societal issues related to scientific progress. You can get this superb mystery from Amazon here.


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