Who could have killed the mercurial young man with no enemies...and no friends?
An anonymous young man dresses carefully, goes to a Reykjavík bar, and hits on a young woman wearing a "San Francisco" tshirt who vaguely remembers him. The next morning, a man is found dead in his home, throat slit and wearing a "San Francisco" T-shirt too small for him. With Inspector Erlendur on an unexpected leave of absence, the case falls to Detective Elínborg. The victim is Runólfur, young and single. Near the body is found a condom and, in his jacket pocket, several pills of the date-rape drug Rohypnol. Runólfur seems to know many people casually and no one well. Everyone Elínborg interviews is a possible, though unlikely, suspect. Runólfur's mother, Kristjana, who lives in a village far from the city, confirms her son's eagerness to escape the village and live in the city but offers little useful information. The evidence points to Runólfur as a possible serial rapist; the closest thing he has to a friend, the socially awkward young Edvard, may be his accomplice. The case takes a baffling new turn with the discovery that Runólfur himself had ingested a large quantity of Rohypnol shortly before his murder. In the midst of what's probably the most important case in her career, Elínborg struggles with the work-life balance and the increasing aloofness of her elder son Valthór, who's addicted to his computer. As if her stress level weren't high enough, she gets word that Erlendur seems to have vanished.
Another deftly modulated murder puzzle from Indridason (Hypothermia, 2010, etc.), with terrific character portraits, many twists and a satisfying "aha!" moment.