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The Shadow District

The Shadow District, November 2017
by Arnaldur Indridason

Minotaur Books
Featuring: Konrad; Stefan Thordarson; Ingiborg
360 pages
ISBN: 1250124026
EAN: 9781250124029
Kindle: B06ZZLY4F9
Hardcover / e-Book
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"An unsolved WWII murder may have gotten an old man killed"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Shadow District
Arnaldur Indridason

Reviewed by Shellie Surles
Posted April 5, 2018

Mystery Police Procedural | Thriller Police Procedural

Translated from Icelandic, SHADOW DISTRICT is the story of an over worked police detective, who turns to her friend a bored, retired detective for some help. A ninety-three year old man is found murdered in his bed and with no clues, police detective Marsha knows the case will not be pursued to the extend needed. While at lunch with her friend, retired detective Konrad, she asks him to look into the case.

When Konrad discovers that the case maybe tied to an unsolved WWII murder he becomes fascinated with the cases. Konrad becomes more and more drawn into the investigation and discovers that a second girl may have also gone missing in the same time period, during WWII, but on the other side of the country. The cases are so similar that he works both the old ones and new one. What he finds is sad and shocking.

SHADOW DISTRICT is written from the view of the current detective working the case and it also jumps into the past and show the case as worked by the original detectives. At times it is a little confusing as you are trying to figure out what time period you are in, and who is detecting whom, but pay attention and it all comes together in the end. It goes to show how even the best detectives can be stumped when powerful people are allowed to influence and innocent people can be set up.

I always find it fascinating to read about detective from other countries written by those actually from those countries. I find that when an author tries to write about police and military they are only familiar with from film, they screw it up to an embarrassing level, even if they have good characters to work with. Also having no clue how the police in their country work, I never know if they are making technical mistakes, so I can just enjoy the story.

Konrad is a retired guy, who has nothing to do with his time, he turns his boredom into quite a productive side project. It is fun to hear Konrad tell Marsha he no longer write reports when she asks for one. That is something every police officer worldwide longs to say. SHADOW DISTRICT is well written even with the back and forth time changes that keep you on your toes. Arnaldur Indridason does a great job of blending cold case investigation and a fresh new murder.

Learn more about The Shadow District


A deeply compassionate story of old crimes and their consequences, The Shadow District is the first in a thrilling new series by internationally bestselling author Arnaldur Indridason.

In wartime Reykjavik, Iceland, a young woman is found strangled in 'the shadow district', a rough and dangerous area of the city. An Icelandic detective and a member of the American military police are on the trail of a brutal killer.

A 90-year-old man is discovered dead on his bed, smothered with his own pillow. Konrad, a former detective now bored with retirement, finds newspaper cuttings reporting the WWII shadow district murder in the dead man’s home. It’s a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighborhood.

Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? Will Konrad's link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of WWII Reykjavik to rest?

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