Outrage – a book review

Title: Outrage

Author: Arnaldur Indridason

 Yan’s pick

This is the latest translation of Arnaldur Indridason’s novel. The main characters, however, mainly shifted from Detective Erlendur to a female Detective Elinborg. Elinborg worked with Erlendur in previous titles, but this time she’s on her own.

The book starts with a perv goes out in the dark to look for his next victim. He has some rape-drug with him. He goes from one club to another, eventually he finds someone.

When Elinborg gets a call for the crime scene, there was a dead body, throat slashed, and rape-drug in his blood. His name is Runolfur.

The leading investigation into the murder is painstakingly slow. The only clue in the crime scene is a woman’s shawl. So whose scarf was left there and why? Did Runolfur want to rape a woman but things went wrong? Where were those drug pills from if not from doctors’ prescription? Was Runolfur the perv roaming around the streets looking for a victim at the beginning of the book. As a reader, I wondered.

Elinborg goes to Runolfur’s workplace as what usually detectives would do – to profile the person. Everyone praises him – a good man, keeps himself to himself, a hard worker, no crime record, no trouble with anyone in the past. Elinborg also takes a journey to a small village where Runolfur’s birthplace was, and the journey is very cold with the winter chill along the way.

Harsh geographical environment, long dark nights and dreadful cold winter, usually echoes the dark side of human beings and the natural brutality of the crime in most of crime writings from Nordic countries. This book is no exception. I could feel the blindly darkness and loneliness all the way through the book.

From rape victims to innocent teenagers on Facebook, the author tackles different social issues with hidden evidence of crime and violence while expressing the sorrow of humanity.

At the end, this case, of course, is solved, but the book leaves some unfinished issues for readers to continue wondering and longing for another title.