Crime + Investigation Podcast
Listen to the brand new Crime + Investigation Podcast.
The Shadow District is the first in a major new series of novels from the worldwide bestseller Arnaldur Indridason.
Old Crimes, New Consequences
In wartime Reykjavik, a young woman is found strangled behind the National Theatre, a rough and dangerous area of the city known as ‘the shadow district’. 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 in the dead man’s home reporting the shadow district murder that date back to the second world war. It’s a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighbourhood.
A Missing Link
Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? How are these cases linked across the decades? Will Konrad's link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of wartime Reykjavik to rest?
Read more at Penguin Books.
Read a sample
They hurried past the sandbagged sentry post in front of the National Theatre. She tried not to make it obvious that they were together, at least not while they were walking down the busier streets. Her parents had been furious when they learnt of the relationship and demanded that she break it off immediately. Her father had actually threatened to throw her out of the house, and she knew he would be as good as his word. She had been unprepared for such a violent reaction. Yet, unwilling as she was to defy her parents, she stubbornly resisted ending the relationship. Instead, she stopped talking about him and let them think it was over, but she carried on meeting him in secret.
There were few places to go if they wanted to be together. Back in late autumn, when they had first started courting, they had gone to Öskjuhlíd hill when the weather was fine. But now, in the depths of winter, their options were very limited. Checking into a hotel was out of the question, and so were the barracks. Once before they had resorted to the back of the National Theatre after nightfall. The building loomed darkly over Hverfisgata like the huge outcrop of columnar basalt it was designed to resemble, though it was in fact no more than a hollow shell. Work had halted on the ambitious project ten years ago with the onset of the Depression, and when the British occupied Iceland in 1940 they had requisitioned it as a supply depot, a role it had retained when the Americans took over in 1941. Now it was a popular meeting place for illicit lovers.
Arnaldur Indridason worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. His books have since sold over 12 million copies worldwide. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger.