The Draining Lake

Arnaldur Indridason, Author, Bernard Scudder, Translator , trans. from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder. St. Martin’s Minotaur/Dunne $24.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-312-35873-0

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.)

Reviewed on: 07/21/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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