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Voices [Mass Market Paperback]

Arnaldur Indridason
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 25 2007 Reykjavik Thriller
Following the huge success of Silence of the Grave, Indridason has followed through with another spellbinding thriller — the third in the award-winning Reykjavik Murder Mysteries.

At a grand Reykjavik hotel the doorman has been repeatedly stabbed in the dingy basement room he called home. It is only a few days before Christmas and he was preparing to appear as Santa Claus at a children’s party. The manager tries to keep the murder under wraps. A glum detective taking up residence in his hotel and an intrusive murder investigation are not what he needs.

As Erlendur quietly surveys the cast of grotesques who populate the hotel, the web of malice, greed and corruption which lies beneath its surface reveals itself. Everyone has something to hide. But most shocking is the childhood secret of the dead man who, many years before, was the most famous child singer in the country: it turns out to be a brush with stardom that would ultimately cost him everything. As Christmas Day approaches, Erlendur must delve deeply into the past to find the man’s killer.

Voices is a tense, atmospheric and disturbing novel from one of Europe’s greatest crime writers.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Gold Dagger Award–winner Indridason stumbles in his third Reykjavik thriller to feature Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson (after 2006's Silence of the Grave). A few days before Christmas, Erlendur and his colleagues, Elínborg and Sigurdur Óli, look into the scandalous murder of Gudlaugur, a local Santa Claus, at a busy hotel. As Erlendur and his team scramble to find a motive for the seemingly senseless crime, disturbing secrets from Gudlaugur's past begin to surface. In a hotel full of foreign holiday guests, Erlendur investigates everyone from a slippery British record collector to a sullen maid who reminds Erlendur of his own daughter. Snippets of a previous investigation involving child abuse distract from the Gudlaugur case. Despite a drawn-out climax where Erlendur tries to put all the pieces together, most readers will predict the terrible secret that led to Gudlaugur's death. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“If you like your thrillers slow but masterfully written then this one is for you.”
Irish Times

“Morosely, intelligently, Erlendur unravels the mystery. With Voices Indridason proves that his Golden Dagger victory for Silence of the Grave last year was no fluke.”
The Times

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and Disturbing May 20 2008
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The third book in the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries series

In a well known Reykjavik hotel, the doorman "Santa stand-in" is found stabbed to death and left in a compromising position. Detectives Erlendur and Sigurdur Oli discover that the late doorman was in fact a former child-prodigy choirboy well known for his recordings that are now collector's items. Could this be the reason he was murdered? As the Icelandic detectives delve into the homicide, they piece together the fragments of the deceased's tragic existence to find the murderer.

On a separate case, Inspector Elinborg deals with a badly battered boy and becomes emotionally involved in securing the conviction of the father.

On a private note, Erlenburg continues with his troubled family relationships both with the ghosts of his own youth and coping with the problem of Eva Lind, his daughter, who is fighting a drug addiction and the traumatic loss of her stillborn baby.

"Voices" is a tense, profound and disturbing novel; Indridason explores the dark corners of human nature by allowing the reader to get inside his protagonist's head. All the characters are fascinating in their own way with a well defined personality; you are drawn to them immediately. The story is far more than a murder mystery; it is one about the loss of innocence, ruined childhood and family secrets, very touching, you can't help but feel deeply for each person's saga. Right from the start you are captivated by the action and the drama. Indridason has once again delivered a spellbinding thriller and I am looking forward to the sequel "The Draining Lake"
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2.0 out of 5 stars feels like watching an episode of Derrick May 7 2014
By Vanessa
Format:Kindle Edition
We meet back with Erlendur and his team, even if Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg only do a few quick appearances where they merely provide the latest news and invite Erlendur to spend Christmas with them, because they do not understand why he stays at the hotel. The Captain couldn't be more depressed as he recalls childhood memories about the disappearance of his brother. So, admittedly, it's interesting to know a little more about this episode in his life that still mark him but I confess that I don't appreciate too much rehash of a sad story on several books. To add to the gaiety of the book, his daughter regularly comes to see her father in the hotel and she's also more depressed than ever...

Some people think this novel is the quintessential noir... But noir fiction is characterized by a pessimistic and often violent vision of society, not a hero über depressed who spends part of the investigation lying on his bed in his unheated room rethinking an event that happened when he was 10 years old...

Apart from that, the atmosphere is as cold as wished for a Nordic polar, the tourists wearing big Icelandic sweaters are quite ridiculous and all the suspects tell lies. Speaking of lies, I often wondered why Erlendur let go some suspects without having questioned them further when he himself hesitated to do so... but it must be said that if he had do it, the investigation would have been solved at about half the book!

The other problem for me is that there are three parallel stories: an ongoing investigation, a trial for an old investigation and the disappearance of the brother of the Captain. These three stories overlap constantly as flashbacks and I often found it annoying because it added nothing to the ongoing investigation.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring book Sept. 29 2012
Format:Paperback
I had great expectations for this book but was sorely disappointed. I found the characters lacking in depth and very stereotypical, and the plot to be rather boring and tedious. I much prefer Jo Nesbo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A dark Christmas Sept. 27 2009
By Prairie Pal TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What do you do when the Santa Claus who is supposed to be hosting a hotel children's party turns up dead in his dingy basement room with a knife wound in his chest, his pants round his ankles and a condom still on? Summon Reykjavik's gloomiest detective of course. Erlendur Sveinsson, hero of Arnaldur Indridason's 9-volume series of Icelandic mysteries, is a dysfunctional as ever, here in 'Voices', the fourth book of the set. Separated from his wife, barely on speaking terms with his junkie daughter and resistant to all his colleagues' attempts to cheer him up at Christmas, Erlendur moves into an unheated hotel room to solve the murder of a Santa who was once a child musical prodigy. Paedophiles, prostitutes, bitter relatives and pimps inhabit the world he must delve into until finally the case is solved and momentarily Erlendur's spirits are lifted as he exits the hotel singing a Nordic Christmas carol. Lovers of Scandinavian mysteries with their emphasis on the bleakness of the landscape and full of interior dialogue will find this book very satisfying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars `Who appointed you the conscience of the world?' Nov. 26 2010
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Just days before Christmas, Gudlauger Egilsson, Reykjavik hotel doorman, handyman and occasional Santa Claus is found stabbed to death in his room in the hotel basement. Detective Erlundur , and his team of Óli and Elínborg are called in to investigate.

It seems that Gudlauger , a long-term hotel employee, was largely invisible to his co-workers. And none of the staff seem very keen to assist the police. Erlendur takes a room at the hotel, partly to irritate the manager and partly because he cannot face the emptiness of his flat. Staying in this room, which is neither nice nor effectively heated, gives Erlendur an opportunity to observe the hotel at work and to focus on the case.

As Erlendur discovers more about the life of the victim, he also becomes introspective about his own life. Elínborg is distracted by the concurrent case of a schoolboy who has been badly beaten. A gang of young bullies may be involved, but Elínborg thinks the boy's father may be involved.

Each of these strands involves some level of dysfunction in families, and an absence of effective communication. Each of the storylines complement each other without slowing the pace of the story. And the answers? Who did kill Gudlauger, and why? The mystery is solved in the final pages, but what a sad journey it is.

This is the third novel in the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries, which now totals six. It is the first I've read, but I'll be looking to read the others (in order).

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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