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MYSTERY/Arnaldur Indridason
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Series
Reykjavik thriller
Subjects
Published
New York : Thomas Dunne Books 2008.
Edition
1st U.S. ed
Language
English
Icelandic
Physical Description
312 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780312428587
0312428588
9780312358730
0312358733
Main Author
Arnaldur Indriðason, 1961- (-)
Other Authors
Bernard Scudder, 1954-2007 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In this fourth series entry, gloomy Detective Inspector Erlendur is enjoying his summer vacation shut up in his apartment, reading one of his favorite missing-persons stories, when a skeleton tied to a Russian listening device is uncovered. Erlendur takes over the investigation with his usual dogged and obsessive style. No one else really cares about a murdered missing person who might have been a spy, but Erlendur refuses to give up his quest, even if it means digging into Iceland's socialist past. Erlendur's enigmatic and irascible former boss, Marion, becomes more than a voice on the phone, as Erlendur, after learning that Marion is seriously ill,  begins to visit him. The development of the series characters helps move along the leisurely investigation and keeps the reader engaged. The missing-persons theme and the exploration of Icelandic history and society remain the trademarks of this outstanding series; this time the addition of international espionage will remind readers of Henning Mankell in White Lioness (1988) and  Dogs of Riga (2003). Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Missing persons particularly pique the interest of Reykjavk police inspector Erlendur, still haunted by the loss of his younger brother in a blizzard that he survived as a child. When the mysteriously draining Lake Kleifarvatn reveals a skeleton tied to an old Russian radio transmitter, Erlendur and colleagues Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli delve into the cold war era, when promising young Icelandic socialists were sent to Leipzig to study, and one of them lost the woman he loved in the atmosphere of "interactive surveillance." Considering himself a failure in family relationships, the introspective and dogged Erlendur is motivated to bring closure to a 70-year-old woman still waiting for her long-vanished lover; even a missing hubcap is a key to this case. Erlendur's developing relationship with a married woman, Elinborg's newfound success as a cookbook author, and Sigurdur Oli's phone calls from a troubled man add depth and texture to the fourth in Indridason's award-winning Nordic series (after Voices ). This is exceptional fiction that transcends its genre.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA [Page 103]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

At the start of Gold Dagger Award–winner Indridason's carefully plotted fourth entry in his crime series starring detective Erlendur Sveinsson (Jar City , etc.), a human skeleton surfaces in the bed of a lake near Reykjavik that's been mysteriously draining away. The bones are tied to some kind of Russian listening device, presumably a remnant of the Cold War. As Erlendur and his colleagues, Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, go about checking on people who went missing around 1970, Erlendur is reminded of the disappearance of his younger brother when they were children. Erlendur's lifelong obsession with the missing provides a haunting metaphor for this lonely, middle-aged man, divorced and alienated from his own two children. Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, on the other hand, aren't particularly persuasive characters, but flashbacks to the University of Leipzig during the Cold War provide compelling insights into the splintered politics of the day, as well as the Icelandic students studying there at the time. (Sept.) [Page 140]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When the water level of an Icelandic lake suddenly falls following an earthquake to reveal a skeleton half-buried in its sandy bed, it is clear that the body has been there for many years, and their investigation takes Inspector Erlendur, Elinborg, and Sigurdur Oli back to the Cold War era to look into the long unsolved disappearance of a young, left-wing student. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Inspector Erlendur returns in this international Bestseller

Following an earthquake, the water level of an Icelandic lake suddenly falls, revealing a skeleton. Inspector Erlendur's investigation takes him back to the Cold War era, when bright, left-wing students in Iceland were sent to study in the "heavenly state" of Communist East Germany. Teeming with spies and informants, though, their "heavenly state" becomes a nightmare of betrayal and murder. Brilliantly weaving international espionage and a chilling cold case investigation, The Draining Lake is Arnaldur Indridason at his best.