Arnaldur Indridason Books

Arnaldur Indridason is an Iceland writer who specializes in the crime fiction genre. Born on 28 January 1961, Indridason started as a journalist before venturing into critiquing films for Morgunbla’i’ and eventually writing books.

Indridason’s first novel “Synir duftsins (Sons of Dust)” was published in 1997. It was the first book in the famous Detective Erlendur series. Currently, the series has 15 books and is considered to be one of Indridason’s most successful works. Other writings include stand-alone novels and scripts for movies and screenplays.

Order of Arnaldur Indridason Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 Operation Napoleon 1999

Order of Inspector Erlendur Series

# Read Title Published
1 Jar City 2000
2 Silence of the Grave 2001
3 Voices 2002
4 The Draining Lake 2004
5 Arctic Chill 2005
6 Hypothermia 2007
7 Outrage 2008
8 Black Skies 2009
9 Strange Shores 2010
10 Reykjavík Nights 2012
11 Into Oblivion 2014
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Although he writes primarily in the Icelandic language, some of Indridason’s works have been translated into other languages like English, Russian, German, Polish, Italian and 19 others for the sake of his growing audience. In total, his books are available in 26 different countries and account for his regular appearance at the top of bestseller lists every now and then.

Arnaldur Indridason Awards

Arnaldur Indridason has been nominated for a number of awards; some of which he won. His novel “Jar City” won the Glass Key award in 2002 in the Nordic crime fiction category. The following year (2003), “Silence of the Graves” bagged him the same award. The same book won the Gold Dagger award (offered by the British Crime Writers’ Association) in 2005 and was nominated for a Barry Award in 2006. Most recently in 2013, Indridason won the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing. With a worth of €125,000, it is considered as the most lucrative award in the crime fiction category.

Arnaldur Indridason Books into Movies/TV:

Arnaldur Indridason’s crime novel “M’rin” (also referred to as Jar City or Tainted Blood) was made into a film in 2006. The film was directed by Baltasar Kormákur Samper and released in English with the title Jar City. It adapts the exact plot and themes that Indridason explored in the novel that was first published in 2000. The film stars Ingvar E. Sigur’sson as Erlendur and ‘gústa Eva Erlendsdóttir as Eva Lind among other prominent actors and actresses. Indridason also wrote scripts for “Contraband” (2012) and co-wrote the screenplay “Reykjavík-Rotterdam” (2008); both of which are not based on any of his books.

Best Arnaldur Indridason Books

Despite the fact that almost every Arnaldur Indridason book has won the hearts of his audience, there are some that have received more love than others. Below are the three most liked books by the author.

Jar City: this book was first published in Iceland in 2000. It was the third installment in the Detective Erlendur series and the first of the same series to be translated into English (in 2004). The book’s title was changed from “Jar City” to “Tainted Blood” in the UK when the paperback edition was released. In this novel, the body of an old man is discovered in his Reykjavík flat and the only clues to his mysterious death are a photograph of a young girl’s burial site and a cryptic note. Upon investigations, Detective Erlendur finds out that the man was accused of violent rape forty years earlier but was never convicted. More evidence resurfaces and uncovers secrets that go beyond the murder of the old man.

Silence of the Grave: first published in Icelandic in 2001, this award-winning novel is the fourth in the Detective Erlendur series and was translated into English by Bernard Scudder in 2005. A half-buried skeleton is discovered in a Grafarholt construction site and Detective Erlendur has to uncover the mystery surrounding the discovery. Investigations reveal very dark secrets from over 70 years ago. Apart from his investigative duties, Erlendur also has to attend to his family problems. His drug-addicted daughter is on a self-destruction path and his family is severely fractured.

Voices: as is the case with other Indridason books, “Voices” was first published in Icelandic in 2002 before being translated into English in August 2006. This fifth installment of the Detective Erlendur series starts when the Christmas rush is at its peak. A doorman preparing to entertain revelers as Father Christmas is found dead in his grand Reykjavík hotel room. Detective Erlendur is called in to conduct investigations into the gruesome murder that left the victim in a compromising position. In order to uncover the mystery, he has to book a room in the same hotel. But the buried secrets that he soon uncovers are not the only problems that he has to deal with because he also has romantic interests to pursue as well as his difficult daughter who seems to be losing her way with every passing day.