From Publishers Weekly
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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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). --Jessica Moyer