Voices by Arnaldur Indriðason


Esta entrada es bilingüe. Desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano.

Translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder. Original title: Röddin (2003). Vintage paperback, 2007. First published in Great Britain in 2006 by Harvill Secker. 344 pages. ISBN. 978-0-099-49417-1

Voices is the fifth Reykjavik Murder Mystery series but the third one to be translated into English. The Swedish translation of the novel (Änglarösten) won Sweden’s Martin Beck Award for the best crime novel in translation.

The story opens five days prior to Christmas Eve. The doorman at a big Reykjavík hotel has been found stabbed to death in his room, dressed in a Santa costume, with his pants down and a condom hanging from his penis. His name was Gudlaugur, but everybody called him Gulli. He was more than a doorman, he did also all type of odd jobs, and he was going to play Santa at a Christmas party to entertain a group of children at the hotel. But no-one seems to know much about him, despite the fact that he has been working at the hotel longer than anyone could remember, living in a small room at the basement.

Erlandur and his colleagues, Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, are in charge of the investigation, but something call their attention. The fact that there are almost no personal effects in Gulli’s room, a room that looks more like a prison cell. As the investigation unfolds, a striking secret is revealed, Gulli had been a child star with a wonderful voice, that soon he lost with puberty.

Erlendur takes a room in the hotel to follow more closely the investigation but no-one is waiting for him at home. He particularly hates this time of the year. However he receives several times the visit of his drug addict daughter, Eva Lind.

Meanwhile, Elinborg is dealing with another investigation. Apparently a schoolboy has been badly beaten by his classmates, although she is convinced that he is being the victim of ill-treatment from his father.

Arnaldur Indriðason proves, once again, that he is an amazing writer. The plot is well developed, full of suspense until the end. Besides being an interesting police procedural, Voices offers an intelligent and humane reflection on many different issues such as stolen childhood, guilt, envy, solitude, bullying, child abuse, …etc. Voicesis a fascinating read by a master storyteller.

Arnaldur Indriðason (1961) published his first book, Sons of Dust (Synir duftsins) in 1997, the first in the Reykjavik Murder Mystery series. As of 2010 there are eleven novels in the series. I have read the two previous available in English, Tainted Blood and Silence of the Grave and I have also read Hypothermia. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books. The ninth book in the series Outrage (Myrká, 2008) is available since last 23 June 2011.

Voices has been reviewed by Karen at Euro Crime, Norman at Euro Crime, Maxine at Euro Crime, Peter at Nordic Bookblog, Kimbofo at Reading Matters, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Ali Karim at January Magazine, Glenn at International Noir Fiction,

Vintage Books

Arnaldur Indriðason in Wikipedia

La Voz de Arnaldur Indridason

La voz es el quinto libro de la serie protagonizada por Erlendur, aunque es el tercero disponible en castellano. La versión sueca de la novela (Änglarösten) ganó el Premio Martin Beck de Suecia a la mejor novela negra traducida.

La historia comienza cinco días antes de la Nochebuena. El portero de un gran hotel de Reykjavík aparece nuerto a puñaladas en su habitación, vestido con un traje de Santa Claus, con los pantalones bajados y un condón colgando de su pene. Se llamaba Gudlaugur, pero todo el mundo le llamaba Gulli. Era algo más que un portero, hacía todo tipo de trabajos, e iba a actuar disfrazado de Santa en una fiesta de Navidad para entretener a un grupo de niños en el hotel. Sin embargo, nadie parece conocerle a pesar de que ha estado trabajando en el hotel por más tiempo del que nadie puede recordar, viviendo en una pequeña habitación en el sótano.

Erlandur y sus colegas, Elinborg y Sigurdur Oli, llevan la investigación, pero algo llama su atención. El hecho de que casi no hay efectos personales en la habitación de Gulli, un cuarto que se parece más a la celda de una prisión. A medida que la investigación avanza, se descubre un secreto sorprendente, Gulli había sido un niño prodigio, una estrella infantil con una voz maravillosa, que perdió con la pubertad.

Erlendur toma una habitación en el hotel para seguir más de cerca la investigación, pero nadie le espera en su casa. En particular, odia esta época del año. Sin embargo, recibe varias veces la visita de su hija drogadicta, Eva Lind.

Mientras tanto, Elinborg tiene que hacer frente a otra investigación. Al parecer, un joven colegial ha sido golpeado por sus compañeros de clase, aunque ella está convencida de que está siendo la víctima de los malos tratos de su padre.

Arnaldur Indridason vuelve a demostrar que es un escritor sorprendente, capaz de captar nuestra atención desde la primera página. Además de ser un procedimiento policial interesante, nos ofrece una inteligente reflexión sobre muchos temas diferentes, tales como la infancia robada, la culpa, la envidia, la soledad, el acoso escolar y el abuso infantil. Una lectura esencial por un maestro de la narración. Absolutamente brillante.

Arnaldur Indridason demuestra, una vez más, que es un escritor increíble. La trama está bien desarrollada, llena de suspense hasta el final. Además de ser un procedimiento policial interesante, La Voz nos ofrece una reflexión inteligente y humana de muchos temas diferentes, tales como la infancia robada, la culpa, la envidia, la soledad, el acoso escolar, el abuso infantil, etc … La Vozes una lectura fascinante de un maestro de la narración.

Arnaldur Indridason nació en 1961 y publicó el primer libro de la serie protagonizada por el detective Erlendur en 1997. La serie cuenta ya con once títulos publicados.

RBA Serie Negra

Arnaldur Indriðason en Wikipedia.

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15 thoughts on “Voices by Arnaldur Indriðason

  1. José Ignacio – Thanks, as always, for an excellent review. I like the Erlunder series and I’m very glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did. I think you’re quite right that Arnaldur Indriðason really does weave a story together very, very effectively.

  2. Great review, Jose Ignacio and reminded me of how much I enjoyed this book. I particularly liked the way the secondary plot (the poor boy) worked out. Indridason has never faltered with this series, i’ve enjoyed them all so much (though did not think so much of his standalone, Operation Napoleon, which waited 10 years before being translated into English).

    1. You are right Maxine about the way the secondary plot worked out within the book. Besides it seems to me also that that the books in his series are superior to his standalone, Operation Napoleon.

  3. Jose Ignacio. Amazon tells me OUTRAGE is #7 in the Erlendur series.
    I think that is referring to those translated into English – below is the list from Euro crime that has the series number next to it. I can’t quite work out where you got 11 from.
    • JAR CITY (apa TAINTED BLOOD) (orig.Mýrin 2000) 2004 3
    • SILENCE OF THE GRAVE (orig. Grafarþögn 2001) 2005 4
    • VOICES (orig. Roddin 2002) 2006 5
    • THE DRAINING LAKE (orig. Kleifarvatn 2004) 2007 6
    • ARCTIC CHILL 2008 7
    • HYPOTHERMIA 2009 8
    • OUTRAGE 2011 9

  4. Kerrie thanks for your comment. according to Wikipedia the eleven books in the series are:
    Synir duftsins (Sons of Dust, 1997)
    Dauðarósir (Silent Kill, 1998)
    Mýrin (Tainted Blood, also known as Jar City, 2000)
    Grafarþögn (Silence of the Grave, 2001)
    Röddin (Voices, 2003)
    Kleifarvatn (The Draining Lake, 2004)
    Vetrarborgin (Arctic Chill, 2005)
    Harðskafi (Hypothermia, 2007)
    Myrká (Outrage, 2008)
    Svörtuloft (2009)
    Furðustrandir (2010)
    The year refers to the original publication.

  5. I’m glad that someone finally reviewed this book on the crime fiction blogs. I happen to think that it’s one of the better of the Erlendur books. I think the opening scene is a big turn off for most people and frankly I hadn’t a clue where the book was going with that disturbing image of a dead Santa with his pants around his ankles. I’m glad I stuck with the book though. The real subject matter of what happened to that boy singer crushed my heart. I have said elsewhere on the web that I am drawn to stories of the downtrodden and the outcasts of the world (for very personal reasons) and VOICES is a crime novel that tells a story of a unique character who is celebrated then tossed away when no longer needed. It’s the kind of book that some people find difficult to read, but I think these kinds of books are important reminders that those who we dismiss for whatever reason often have surprising lives to reveal.

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