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  • Location: Reykjavik

The Shadow District

The Shadow District

Why a Booktrail?

WW2, 2000s: Are YOU ready to enter Reykjavik’s “Shadow District”

  • ISBN: 978-1911215059
  • Translator: Victoria Cribb
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

In wartime Reykjavik, a young woman is found strangled behind the National Theatre, a rough and dangerous area of the city known as ‘the shadow district’. 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 in the dead man’s home reporting the shadow district murder that date back to the second world war. It’s a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighbourhood.

Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? How are these cases linked across the decades? Will Konrad’s link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of wartime Reykjavik to rest?

Travel Guide

Visit Reykjavik

Are you brave enough to visit the Shadow district though?

The National Theatre

This is the main setting of the novel and the crime scene too. It also holds special memories for two characters as when they were dating, they would go behind the National Theatre after nightfall.

“The building loomed darkly over  Hverfisgata like the huge outcrop of columnar basalt it was designed to resemble, though it was in fact no more than a hollow shell. work had halted on the ambitious project ten years ago with the onset of the Depression, and when the British occupied Iceland in 1940, they had requisitioned it as a supply depot, a role it had retained when the Americans took over in 1941.

On entering the imposing theatre building,audiences were supposed to imagine that they were stepping inside a mountain, being transported to the gleaming halls of fairytale

The war and Reykjavik

At the beginning of the war, Reykjavik had had a population of forty thousand , but since then tens of thousands of servicemen had poured into the town. Liaisons between soldiers and Icelandic women were inevitable with the arrival of the Tommies…..

The Öskjuhlíð

The wind whistled around the manmade castle of rock designed to resemble the elf palaces of Icelandic folklore

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Shadow District

Author/Guide: Arnaldur Indridason  Destination: Reykjavik  Departure Time: WW2, 2000s

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