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Arnaldur Indriðason

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Arnaldur Indriðason
Arnaldur Indriðason at the Helsinki Book Fair, Finland, 2004
Arnaldur Indriðason at the Helsinki Book Fair, Finland, 2004
Born (1961-01-28) 28 January 1961 (age 63)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Genrecrime fiction

Arnaldur Indriðason (pronounced [ˈartnaltʏr ˈɪntrɪðasɔn]; born 28 January 1961[1])[2] is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction; his most popular series features the protagonist Detective Erlendur.[3]

Early life[edit]

Arnaldur was born in Reykjavík on 28 January 1961, the son of writer Indriði G. Þorsteinsson. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) in 1996. He worked as a journalist for the newspaper Morgunblaðið from 1981 to 1982, and later as a freelance writer. From 1986 to 2001, he was a film critic for Morgunblaðið.


His first book, Sons of Earth (Synir duftsins) came out in 1997, the first in the series with Detective Erlendur. The first two novels in the series have not yet been translated into English.[4] As of 2013, the series included 14 novels. Arnaldur is considered one of the most popular writers in Iceland in recent years — topping bestseller lists time and again.[citation needed] In 2004, his books were 7 of the 10 most popular titles borrowed in Reykjavík City Library[citation needed]. In 2006, his Erlendur novel Mýrin was made into a film, known internationally as Jar City, by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur.[5]

Arnaldur's novels have sold over 14 million copies worldwide, in 40 languages, including Arabic, Russian, Polish, German, Greek, Danish, Catalan, English, Portuguese, Italian, Czech, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese, Croatian, Romanian, Bulgarian, French, Serbian, Slovenian and Turkish .

The 2023 film Operation Napoleon is based on Indriðason's novel of the same name.[6]


Arnaldur received the Glass Key award, a literature prize for the best Nordic crime novel, in 2002 and 2003. He won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award in 2005 for his novel Silence of the Grave. He won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA Prize for Crime Writing worth €125,000, in 2013 for Shadow Alley (Skuggasund).[7][note 1]


Detective Erlendur series[edit]

Young Erlendur[edit]

  • Einvígið (The Duel), 2011[note 2]
  • Reykjavíkurnætur (Reykjavik Nights), 2012. Trans. 2015
  • Kamp Knox (Oblivion), 2014. Published in the U.S. as Into Oblivion, 2016

Reykjavik Wartime Mystery series (Flovent and Thorson)[edit]

  • Skuggasund (The Shadow District), 2013. Trans. 2017
  • Þýska húsið (The Shadow Killer), 2015. Trans. 2018
  • Petsamo, 2016.

Konráð series[edit]

  • Myrkrið veit (The Darkness Knows), 2017. Trans. 2021
  • Stúlkan hjá brúnni (The Girl by the Bridge), 2018. Trans. 2023
  • Tregasteinn (The Quiet Mother), 2019
  • Þagnarmúr (Wall of Silence), 2020
  • Kyrrþey, 2022
  • Sæluríkið, 2023

Other novels[edit]

  • Napóleonsskjölin (Operation Napoleon), 1999. Trans. 2011
  • Bettý, 2003[note 2]
  • Konungsbók, 2006[note 2]
  • Sigurverkið, 2021

Other writings[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arnaldur Indriðason Jolabokaflod
  2. ^ "Arnaldur Indriðason". Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Arnaldur Indriðason | Literature Web". City of literature UNESCO (in Icelandic). 15 April 2014. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  4. ^ "The Reykjavik Murder Mysteries by Arnaldur Indridason". February 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Scott, A. O. (29 February 2008). "A Haunting Enigma of Violence and Chaos". New York Times.
  6. ^ Nordine, Michael (10 August 2023). "'Operation Napoleon' Review: Icy Nazi Thriller Proves Some Things Should Stay Buried". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Arnaldur Indridason wins the 7th RBA Crime Novel Award for the forthcoming 'Shadow Channel'". Catalan News Wire. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  8. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (26 September 2008). "Missing persons". New York Times.
  9. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (17 September 2009). "Summer of '66". New York Times.


  1. ^ Incorrectly translated as Shadow Channel by Catalan News Agency in reference.
  2. ^ a b c d e Not yet translated into English