Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Black Skies

Detective Erlendur series (book 8)

8 Black Skies

This book is included in The Icelanders Cometh crowdfunding campaign run by the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to raise money for UK libraries to spend on titles translated into English by Icelandic authors to mark World Book Night and UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.


A man is making a crude leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a ‘death mask’, once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves, and he has revenge in mind.

Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force. While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, his relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the CID is compromised after he agrees to visit a couple of blackmailers as a favour to a friend, and walks in just as a woman is beaten unconscious. When she dies, Sigurdur Óli has a murder investigation on his hands.

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.


‘An international literary phenomenon – and it’s easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical.’ Harlan Coben

‘Essential Scandi-Fiction’ Sunday Express

‘Satisfying and topical … Brilliant stuff” Maxine Clark, Eurocrime

Black Skies is one of, if not the best, of Indriðason’s books.’ Michael Carlson, Crime Time

‘Indriðason is perhaps the best crime writer alive … Masterful as ever’ Sydney Sun Herald