andri ólafsson & hinrika kristjánsdóttir, icelandic police

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Crime in the Land of Fire and Ice

Far away in the north of Europe and just south of the Arctic Circle there is an island which is the most sparsely populated country of that region. The country knows volcanoes and hot springs resp. geysers as well as ice and snow covered mountains. The region is rough and it may become rather cold with black ice and snowstorms all over the island.

So we are now somehow at the edge of Europe: lots of nature and few people, very few people. Crime? Is there any crime? Is there any serious crime? Like murder? Yes – there is.

Let’s start with families, family bonds going back to the generation of the grandparents or so – not to mention any deep buried family secrets. Families are big families as a rule – so there is a lot of gossip, a lot of ideas for revenge, a lot of liabilities. Families are part of villages where anybody knows all about his neighbors. All together it often results in deep silence especially when the police starts asking about whatever during an investigation.

Iceland may be rather isolated conveying a deep rural environment to anybody especially any tourists. However, Icelanders are no backwoods people. Modern technology and communication is everywhere even when working with sheep on remote farms. So we are now in business. As it turns out business dealings are a real big thing allowing people to dream their dreams of wealth and success. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about men or women, farmers or politicians – business is the main impetus nowadays comfortably neglecting influences like environmental pollution, white-collar crime, dealings with organized crime in the background. Often a solid business is the flagship for any underwater activities. (Of course I’m only speaking about the setting of Trapped!)

Basically the mix of family affairs and business deals is an explosive mix resulting in murder to clean up any problems as well as leaving behind even more deadly collateral damage. In the middle of the mess there is the police trying to understand what’s going on – although sometimes even their families resp. single members of their families are deeply involved.

Furthermore imagine that all action takes place in stunning nature … The background of glaciers and volcanoes, the crushing waves of the ocean, the loneliness of the vast plains … All seems pristine while creating a monumental background for the series. Any crime on the other hand is always brutal, dirty, scary – never ever any sophisticated murder plot.

Andri and Hinrika fight for justice and represent law and order somewhere in Iceland in a small town resp. village – not in Reykjavik. Of course distances in Iceland are manageable so that often some influence is suddenly transmitted in the far edges of the island to promote to stop the investigation. Especially when business deals are involved or the future of politicians … Andri and Hinrika soon realize that somebody pulls the strings from the capital.

Andri is tall and big with a wild beard – well: all men on Iceland seem to be fond of wild beards. He is marries, later divorced, with two daughters, teenagers who like to cause trouble. Because of his temper and his unqualified handling of a suspect he was transferred from Reykjavik to this unimportant post. Of course it’s not a peaceful village resp. town where he now rules the game as the local chef of police. Business is everywhere, obscure dealings involving families and foreigners, corruption … and then there are dead bodies piling up.

Hinrika starts as Andri’s deputy – later she becomes chief of police when Andri makes his way back to Reykjavik after both having successfully solved some currents crimes as well as some events that happened some years ago. Hinrika is married to … some sort of old hippie always busy to protect the environment or whatever. The marriage doesn’t seem so happy, there are crises, but they stay together and later care together for his nephew.

In short: Andri and Hinrika face a murder for a start. Slowly there is a development aiming at more crime in the background of this body. They investigate, they sometimes cross boundaries, if professional, if family related … Hinrika always has got more scruples … Finally they succeed, also when they have to pay the bill for any unqualified acts afterwards.

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare