In 1974, two men vanished without a trace under suspicious circumstances, shocking the people of Iceland, where serious crime is almost non-existent. More than a year later there seemed to be a breakthrough when a small-time crook named Erla Bolladottir described a dream to police that they interpreted as a sign of trauma related to the men’s disappearance. After lengthy interrogations, investigations and courtroom dramas, Erla and five acquaintances confessed to killing both men and were given prison sentences ranging from three years to life. But over the years the case against the convicted six began to disintegrate, and one major question remained unanswered: Why had they all confessed to murder if they hadn’t done it?
Out of Thin Air joins Erla in the present day as she pursues her exoneration, exploring the many facets of this bizarre and bewildering case and the social and cultural history of Iceland, a country of vast landscapes, extreme weather and strange folklore, where more than eighty per cent of the population believes that elves might exist.