Outrage

Publisher: 
Place: 
London
Year: 
2011

The novel Myrká, translated to English in 2011 by Anna Yates. Also published in English by Random House in Toronto 2011, Oakhill Publishing in Bath 2012, Vintage in London 2012 and Minotaur Books in New York 2012.

From Outrage:
The Criminal Investigation Department received the notification two days later. Elínborg was on duty and she called out the team. When she arrived at the scene traffic police had already closed off the road, in the Thingholt district, and the forensics officers were just pulling up. She saw a representative of the Regional Medical Officer get out of his car. At the start of a case only forensics team membes were premitted to enter the flat, to carry out their investgations. They ‘froze’ the scene, as they put it.

Elínborg made the necessary arrangements as she waited patiently for the forensics team to give her the go-ahead. Journalists and other media reporters were gathering, and she observed them at work. They were pushy – some were even rude to the police who were keeping them away from the crime scene. One or two of the TV reporters looked familiar: a vacuous quiz-show host who had recently transferred to the news, and the presenter of a political chat show. She had no idea why he should be down here with the news teams. Elínborg recalled her early days with the CID, when she’d been one of only a handful of women detectives: back then the reporters had been much more polite, and far fewer. She preferred the press journalists. Print-media people were less rushed, less overbearing and less self-important than the TV reporters toting their video cameras. Some of them could even write.

Neighbours stood at their windows or had stepped out into their doorways, arms crossed in the autumn chill, puzzlement on their faces; they had no idea what had happened. Police officers had started questioning them: had they noticed anything unusual on the street, or specifically at the house, anyone coming or going? Did they know the resident? Had they been inside?

Elínborg had once rented a flat in Thingholt, long before it had become fashionable. She had liked living in this historic area on the hillside above the old town centre. The houses, which varied in age, encapsulated a century of the history of building and architecture in the city: some had been humble labourers’ cottages, others had been grand villas built by wealty entrepreneurs. Rich and poor, masters and workers, had always lived there in harmony side by side until the district had started to attract young home-buyers with no interest in settling in the sprawling new suburbs that were stretching into the upland heats, and who preferred to make their homes close to the heart of the city. The artistic and fashionable classes moved into the old timber-framed houses, and the splendid mansions were bought up by the super-wealthy and nouveau riche. They wore their downtown postcode like a badge of honour: 101 Reykjavík.

The head of forensics appeared at the corner of the house and called to Elínborg. He reminded her to be careful, and ot to touch anything.

‘It’s nasty,’ he said.

‘Oh?’

‘Like an abattoir.’

The entrance to the ground-floor flat was at the rear, facing the garden ,and was not visible from the road; a paved path led round to the back of the house. As she entered the flat Elínborg saw the body of a young man lying on the living-room floor. His trousers were around his ankles and he was wearing nothing but a bloodsoaked T-shirt with the words San Francisco stencilled on it. A little flower was growing up out of the letter F.