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Arnaldur Indriðason books in order

Arnaldur Indriðason is an Icelandic award-winning author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels, best known for writing the Inspector Erlendur Series.

Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, he graduated with a degree in history from the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands). Arnaldur then proceeded to work as a journalist for the newspaper Morgunblaðið, and as a freelance writer before turning to crime fiction writing.

Since launching his career as a novelist, Arnaldur has won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave (2005), and is the only author to have won back-to-back Glass Key Awards for Best Nordic Crime Novel for his books Silence of the Grave (2005) and Jar City (2004)–with the latter receiving a film adaptation.

His books, which have been published in 40 languages, have sold more than 14 million copies across the globe.

Arnaldur lives in Iceland.

More about Arnaldur Indriðason

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1961


Non Series

  • Operation Napoleon - Napóleonsskjölin (1999)

Detective Konrad

  1. The Darkness Knows - Myrkrið veit (2021)
  2. The Girl by the Bridge - Stúlkan hjá brúnni (2023)

Flovent and Thorson

  1. The Shadow District - Skuggasund (2017)
  2. The Shadow Killer - Þýska húsið (2018)

Inspector Erlendur

  1. Jar City - Mýrin (2004)
  2. Silence of the Grave - Grafarþögn (2005)
  3. Voices - Röddin (2006)
  4. The Draining Lake - Kleifarvatn (2007)
  5. Arctic Chill - Vetrarborgin (2008)
  6. Hypothermia - Harðskafi (2009)
  7. Outrage - Myrká (2011)
  8. Black Skies - Svörtuloft (2012)
  9. Strange Shores - Furðustrandir (2013)
  10. Reykjavik Nights - Reykjavíkurnætur (2014)
  11. Into Oblivion - Kamp Knox (2015)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Operation Napoleon

Why is the US Army trying to secretively remove a plame from an Icelandic glacier, and why are they threatened by a young Icelandic rescue volunteer who manages to contact his sister Kristen before disappearing off the face of the earth? Kristin, who will not rest until she discovers the truth of her brother's fate, soon is in great danger herself, leading her on a long and hazardous journey in search of the key to the riddle about Operation Napoleon.

Flashback to 1945, when a German bomber flies over Iceland in a blizzard. The crew have lost their way and crash on a glacier. Puzzlingly, there are both German and American officers on board. One of the senior German officers claims that their best chance of survival is to try to walk to the nearest farm and sets off, a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, only to disappear into the white vastness.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Napóleonsskjölin
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1250003188
Publisher: Picador

Detective Konrad

The Darkness Knows

The victim: a businessman missing for thirty years.

The case: impossible to solve. Until now.

A frozen body is discovered in the icy depths of Langjökull glacier, apparently that of a businessman who disappeared thirty years before. At the time, an extensive search and police investigation yielded no results-one of the missing man's business associates was briefly held in custody, but there wasn't enough evidence to charge him.

Now the associate is arrested again and Konrád, the retired policeman who originally investigated the disappearance, is called back to reopen the case that has weighed on his mind for decades.

When a woman approaches him with new information that she obtained from her deceased brother, progress can finally be made in solving this long-cold case.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Myrkrið veit
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1787302327
Publisher: Harvill Secker
The Girl by the Bridge

An elderly couple are worried about their granddaughter. They know she's been smuggling drugs, and now she's gone missing.

Looking for help, they turn to Konrad, a former policeman whose reputation precedes him. Always absent-minded, he constantly ruminates on the fate of his father, who was stabbed to death decades ago.

But digging into the past reveals much more than anyone set out to discover, and a little girl who drowned in the Reykjavik city pond unexpectedly captures everyone's attention.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Stúlkan hjá brúnni
First Release: 2023
Publisher: Minotaur Books

Flovent and Thorson

The Shadow District


In wartime Reykjavik, Iceland, a young woman is found strangled in 'the shadow district', a rough and dangerous area of the city. 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 reporting the WWII shadow district murder in the dead man’s home. It’s a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighborhood.


Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? Will Konrad's link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of WWII Reykjavik to rest?

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Skuggasund
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1250138170
Publisher: Picador
The Shadow Killer

A man is found murdered in a small apartment in Reykjavík, shot in the head with a pistol. The police’s attention is immediately drawn to the foreign soldiers who are on every street corner in the summer of 1941. So begins officers Flóvent and Thorson’s investigation, which will lead them down a path darker than either of them expected, and force them to reckon with their own demons.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Þýska húsið
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1250138163
Publisher: Picador

Inspector Erlendur

Jar City

When a lonely old man is found dead in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Inspector Erlendur discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, but not convicted, of an unsolved crime, a rape. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man.

NB: This book is also known as Tainted Blood.

Jar City
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Cast: Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Ólafía Hrönn Jónsdóttir, Atli Rafn Sigurðsson, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Þorsteinn Gunnarsson
Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Mýrin
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0312426385
Publisher: Picador
Silence of the Grave

Inspector Erlendur returns in this gripping Icelandic thriller When a skeleton is discovered half-buried in a construction site outside of Reykjavík, Inspector Erlendur finds himself knee-deep in both a crime scene and an archeological dig. Bone by bone, the body is unearthed, and the brutalizing history of a family who lived near the building site comes to light along with it. 

Was the skeleton a man or a woman, a victim or a killer, and is this a simple case of murder or a long-concealed act of justice? As Erlendur tries to crack this cold case, he must also save his drug-addicted daughter from self destruction and somehow glue his hopelessly fractured family back together.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Grafarþögn
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0312427320
Publisher: Picador

The Christmas rush is at its peak in a grand Reykjavík hotel when Inspector Erlendur is called in to investigate a murder. The hotel Santa has been stabbed to death, and Erlendur and his fellow detectives find no shortage of suspects between the hotel staff and the international travelers staying for the holidays. 

As Christmas Day approaches, Erlendur must deal with his difficult daughter, pursue a possible romantic interest, and untangle a long-buried web of malice and greed to find the murderer. Voices is a brutal, soulful noir from the chilly shores of Iceland.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Röddin
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0312428068
Publisher: Picador
The Draining Lake

In the wake of an earthquake, the water level of an Icelandic lake drops suddenly, revealing the skeleton of a man half-buried in its sandy bed. It is clear immediately that it has been there for many years. There is a large hole in the skull. 

Yet more mysteriously, a heavy communication device is attached to it, possibly some sort of radio transmitter, bearing inscriptions in Russian. The police are called in and Erlendur, Elínborg and Sigurður Óli begin their investigation, which gradually leads them back to the time of the Cold War when bright, left-wing students would be sent from Iceland to study in the ‘heavenly state’ of Communist East Germany.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Kleifarvatn
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0312428587
Publisher: Picador
Arctic Chill

On an icy January day, the Reykjavik police are called to a block of apartments where a body has been found in the garden: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Iceland's outwardly liberal, multicultural society. Meanwhile, the boy's murder forces Erlendur to confront the tragedy in his own past.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Vetrarborgin
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0312655303
Publisher: Picador

Inspector Erlendur has spent his entire career struggling to evade the ghosts of his past. But ghosts are visiting him, both in the form of a séance attended by a dead woman and also in the reemerging puzzle of two young people who went missing 30 years ago. 

And there’s the ghost of the detective’s disastrous marriage, which, despite the pleas of his drug-addled daughter, he is unwilling to confront. In addition, he’s still obsessed with the disappearance of his brother, who vanished without a trace when they were boys.

He can only run from his ghosts for so long, and, when they finally catch up with him, Erlendur is forced to face the heart shattering truth of his past.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Harðskafi
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0099532279
Publisher: Vintage

In a flat near Reykjavik city centre, a young man lies dead in a pool of blood although there are no signs of a break-in or any struggle. A woman's purple shawl, found under the bed, gives off a strong and unusual aroma. A vial of narcotics found in the victim's pocket among other clues soon lead Erlendur's colleagues down a trail of hidden violence and psychological brutality, and of wrongs that will never be fully righted.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Myrká
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1250037749
Publisher: Picador
Black Skies

A man is making a leather mask with an iron spike fixed in the middle of his forehead. Meanwhile, a school reunion has left Inspector Erlendur's colleague Sigurdur Óli unhappy with life in the police force. While Iceland is enjoying an economic boom, Óli's relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the department is compromised. When a favor to a friend goes wrong and a woman dies before his eyes, Óli has a murder investigation on his hands.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Svörtuloft
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-1250055880
Publisher: Picador
Strange Shores

In this latest puzzle Inspector Erlendur learns of the baffling story of Matthildur, a local woman who went missing years earlier on the night of a violent storm. 

A frequent visitor to his birthplace, Erlendur has spent his whole life searching for his brother Beggi who was lost in a snowstorm when they were both children. As he begins to ask questions about the fateful evening when Matthildur disappeared, Erlendur begins to suspect what may have also befallen his long-lost brother.

Can Erlendur possibly solve the disappearances of Matthildur, and Beggi, after all these decades? Or are the forces that want him to stop investigating stronger than he is?

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Furðustrandir
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1250074737
Publisher: Picador
Reykjavik Nights

Erlendur is a young officer assigned to traffic duties. He is not yet a detective. He works nights. Reykjavík’s nights are full of car crashes, robberies, fights, drinking, and sometimes an unexplained death.

One night a homeless man Erlendur knows is found drowned. Then a young woman on her way home from a club vanishes and both cases go cold.

But Erlendur’s instincts tell him that the fates of these two victims are worth pursuing. He is inexorably drawn into a world where everyone is either in the dark or on the run.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Reykjavíkurnætur
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1250111425
Publisher: Picador
Into Oblivion

It's 1979. A woman swims in a remote, milky-blue lagoon. Steam rises from the water and as it clears, a body is revealed in the ghostly light. Miles away, a vast aircraft hangar rises behind the perimeter fence of the US military base. A sickening thud is heard as a man's body falls from a high platform.

Many years before, a schoolgirl went missing. The world has forgotten her. But Erlendur has not. Erlendur is a newly promoted detective. He is only starting out, but he is already deeply involved in his work.

Author: Arnaldur Indriðason
Original Title: Kamp Knox
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1250111432
Publisher: Picador