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Into Oblivion: An Icelandic Thriller    by Arnaldur Indridason order for
Into Oblivion
by Arnaldur Indridason
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Into Oblivion, Arnaldur Indridason continues from Reykjavik Nights prequels to his original series featuring the complex, committed, intuitive and gloomy Icelander, Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson. Fans get to see a younger policeman, obsessed as ever with mysterious disappearances and with a knack for spotting an oddity and evolving it into a successful murder investigation.

In 1979, an Icelandic woman swims in a remote lagoon, believing that the minerals in its waters are beneficial for her psoriasis - she finds a body. The CID's Marion Briem and Erlendur investigate, but are foiled at every turn in getting information from a nearby US military base. When they finally succeed in identifying the corpse, it's that of an Icelander who had worked as a mechanic on the base and had fallen (or been pushed?) from a great height. He had also been smuggling marijuana from the base to help his sister cope with her chemo treatments.

At the same time, Erlendur is haunted (as always) by a cold case, that of a schoolgirl who disappeared near the old barracks slum, Camp Knox - she had told a friend that she had met a boy from the camp, but he never came forward. Erlendur needs to know what happened to her. When he eventually finds out, it's unexpected - and very dangerous for him. And the modern case progresses with help from an American military police officer, Caroline Murphy, but when it overlaps with CIA activities, she finds herself in deep trouble and fears for her life.

I enjoyed Into Oblivion, yet another fascinating Icelandic mystery, mainly for the light it shines on how the US military presence in Iceland has been viewed by locals, and for the development of Marion Briem's character and his growing partnership with Erlendur Sveinsson. Fans do not want to miss it.

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