Minotaur, Sep 15 2009, $24.99
Outside a slummy Reykjavik apartment, the corpse of an Asian-Icelandic boy is found lying in his frozen blood. Police detective Erlendur Sveinsson leads the investigation into the homicide. He finds no motives for killing the half Thai child so he explores racism as the only possibility in spite of a tolerant society in which native males marry Thai women, divorce them, and abandon them and their offspring to live in the slums. The victim is El'as whose mom Sunee worked in a chocolate factory but has recently vanished; she was estranged from her carpenter husband Idinn for bringing her other son Niran with her.
Erlanger has personal issues starting with the shock of his former boss Marion’s slow death that reminds him of his own mortality and his obsession to reconcile with his estrange adult children. The detective continues his inquiry into a missing woman who probably committed suicide, but he seeks closure in the case.
The latest Icelandic police procedural is a deep look at society struggling with the problems Thai women face in Iceland. The story line also deeply digs into a father’s struggles with his two offspring who have issues that make him feel like a failure. As their father he wants to shower them with love; an emotion he cannot show to anyone even the woman he desires as love denotes weakness. This is another winner as the case is solid but supports the profound glimpse into society and relationships.