Sun on Fire
Set in Berlin, Sun on Fire starts off as a traditional whodunit in the Agatha Christy murder-at-the-dinner-party tradition, providing a locked room and a cast suspicious characters that are pitted against one another. However, soon enough the text begins to swerve away from the comforts of these familiar tropes into a complex series of tightly wound plots.
The adhesive that binds together the many plotlines and narratives is the endearing characterization of the major protagonists: refreshingly by-the-book detectives Birkir Li Hinriksson and Gunnar Maríuson who, along with forensic expert Anna, are sent to Berlin to investigate the murder due to it having been committed on the grounds of the Icelandic Embassy. Rather than the traditional obsessive loners familiar to most readers of crime fiction, all three are human beings with traits and quirks that provide clear insights into their daily lives outside of “the job”.
With his first crime novel published in 1978, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson is a pioneer of the Icelandic crime fiction genre. Two of his books have been turned into mini-series for Icelandic television, the latest being the 2018 adaptation of his historical thriller The Flatey Enigma.