New Book by Crime Fiction Writer Arnaldur Indriðason

Arnaldur Indriðason.

Arnaldur Indriðason. mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

Vala Hafstað

Every year for the past 24 years, a new book by crime fiction writer Arnaldur Indriðason has been published November 1, Morgunblaðið reports. That was the case this year, and on the occasion, he was interviewed by Morgunblaðið journalist Höskuldur Daði Magnússon.

The book that just came out is called Þagnarmúr – meaning ‘wall of silence’ in English. It’s about the retired police officer Konrad (Konráð). The plot alternates between past and present.

This is the fourth book Arnaldur writes about Konrad. He is asked if he intentionally makes the police officer less and less likable, still, making the reader sympathetic toward some of his actions.

“The idea was to create a police officer more complicated that he appears to be. He has his defects, having been brought up under very difficult circumstances and, therefore, finds it tough being entirely honest, as police officers are expected to be.”

mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

When asked whether the whole plot has been determined once he starts writing a book, Arnaldur responds, “Ideally, I like to write every book in such a way that I don’t know the whole story beforehand. Someone once said, ‘If I knew where I were headed, I wouldn’t go there.’ For me, that’s a good rule.”

Although the new book is a sequel to The Girl by the Bridge , all the books can be treated as stand-alone works, he states.

Arnaldur is asked whether his next book will reflect the COVID-19 situation in any way. “No, not for now,” he responds. “The next books about Konrad, which could be an additional three, only go as far as the years 2018 and 2019, or so. Therefore, covering these unbelievable and difficult and boring times will have to wait,” he adds.

How has the COVID-19 situation affected Arnaldur himself? “The situation suits writers well,” he responds. “They thrive in isolation. That’s the norm for people who work at writing a book a year. Still, this COVID-situation affects you, just like anyone else, and of course you hope these waves [of the disease] start subsiding.”

Next year marks the 25 th anniversary of the publication of Arnaldur’s first book. Is he planning to slow down, or has writing become a habit?

“That’s a long time,” he states. “I will continue as long as the ideas keep popping into my head. Writing novels never becomes a habit. It is always demanding, and every time you sit down to write, you face new challenges. I will continue for as long as I’m able to surprise myself in front of the computer. While I can do that, being a writer is enjoyable,”  Arnaldur concludes.

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