Detective Sigurdur Oli is in trouble.
After a school reunion exposes the chasm between his life and those of his much more successful contemporaries, leaving him bitter and resentful, one of his old friends asks him to pay an unofficial visit to a couple of blackmailers. He readily agrees, only to arrive to find one of the pair lying in a pool of blood. When the victim dies in hospital, Sigurdur Oli is faced with investigating a murder without revealing his own reasons for being present at the murder scene.
Moving from the villas of Reykjavík's banking elite to a sordid basement flat, Black Skies is a superb story of greed, pride and murder from one of Europe's most successful crime writers.
Insp. Sigurdur li takes center stage in Indridason's solid eighth Inspector Erlendur novel (after 2012's Outrage), providing all the Nordic bleakness and moral ambiguity of Reykjavik police colleague Erlendur Sveinsson, with a trace of stolid conservatism added to sour the mix. Sigurdur li's great talent is to doggedly follow a trail, even at the expense of the relationships in his life and his own ethics. When someone fatally bludgeons L na Thorgr msd ttir with a baseball bat in her apartment, L na, like most Indridason victims, turns out to be far from innocent; she has tried to blackmail friends of Sigurdur li with photos of group sex. Meanwhile, a Reykjavik bum with a shattered and nearly incoherent personality tries to tell the inspector about a terrible crime. Indridason may be guilty of gratuitous characterization in a search for nuance, but the pathos is often moving, and Sigurdur li proves a worthy detective, if not so great a human being.