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The Draining Lake: An Inspector Erlendur Novel (An Inspector Erlendur Series) Paperback – September 1, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Make no mistake about it - Indridason is the real deal - a writer who can spin a head-scratching mystery with the best of them, while weaving into the fabric of the murder important historical threads that will illuminate while keeping the reader guessing, riveted to the pages all the while. From the discovery of the corpse uncovered by the factual draining of Iceland's Lake Kleifarvatn in 2001, Indridason takes the reader back to Communist East Germany in the 1950's, where idealist young Icelandic socialists are provided Soviet scholarships to the venerable University of Leipzig. But in Irdridason's mastery of parallel stories, utopia begins to unravel when Marxist ideals are confronted with Fascist realities, and the fairytale attraction of a workers paradise collapses as kids are spies for the state, turning on their erstwhile friends for favors of grades and power, creating a Hell in paradise where no one can be trusted and every action is suspect. With unrest in newly minted Soviet satellite of Hungary, and a fragile young Communist Empire in the balance, the situation gets ugly and visions of glorious redistribution of wealth and universal joy begin to fade like the paint job on an East German-made tractor.Read more ›
But what does Halldor Laxness have to do with "The Draining Lake", a crime novel, the fourth installment in the popular series starring the glum Inspector Erlandur? Well, quite a lot actually... Every Icelandic author writes in the shadow of Laxness, even Arnaldur Indridason, whose books current outsell the master's by at least a hundred to one. In fact, Laxness makes an explicit appearance, a 'walk-on' in the meditation-memories of Tomás, the idealistic young Icelandic socialist whose studies in communist East Germany in the 1950s are somehow enmeshed in the 'disappearance mystery' Erlandur is compelled to investigate. Tomás remembers his own emotion at finding himself standing under the statue of Bach in Leipzig, exactly where Laxness had stood before.
The Draining Lake is an entertainment first and foremost, the sort of crime novel that holds the reader entranced with clues and false clues up to the final chapter. But it's also a moral tale about idealism and the survival of such ideals even after the most heinous possible betrayal.Read more ›
As good or better than Henning Mankell at his best. Fine plottting, great
atmosphere, and unique insights into human nature at its best and worst.
Don't miss this very fine book.
The main character in these books is a detective named Erlendur, who schleps through a far from glamorous life, solving cases with his team. Erlendur is estranged from his wife and he has a tenuous, largely unhappy, relationship with his two adult (burn-out)children. He reads obsessively about travellers who have vanished in Iceland's wilderness; his younger brother disappeared in a blizzard when they were kids, and that tragedy overshadows everything in Erlendur's life. As prickly and churlish as Elendur can be, he's a decent police officer who is conscientious in his work.
Of course, Erlendur's fellow detectives have to include a handsome, younger cop and a woman--in this case, Sigurder Oli and Elinborg, respectively. Indridason is really good at allowing all of these characters to become more complex and well-developed throughout the series, revealing them little by little.
But the most interesting component of all is Iceland itself. Indridason brings the country and its people to life, in all its bleakness. It's a harsh environment, and the prose style fits the setting exactly. Detective Erlendur's cool reserve seems to be a function of his surroundings, as he deliberately moves toward resolving cases.
In THE DRAINING LAKE, Erlendur and his team catch a case involving Cold War-era spies. Iceland, which still hosts an American military base, was a fairly significant area during the Cold War--right on the border between the Soviets and the West.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the fourth translated book in the Icelandic series featuring Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson. (I am reading them in order. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Bobby D.
Very well written account of Icelanders who went to East Germany to study after WWII. Paced well and layered with intrigue as well as insight into post war Communism and the Stasi... Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Daniel
Thank you for writing all these poems. It's like a meditation for me to read some of them. KevinPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Much slower paced than some of the novels I read, but so genuine and intriguing. Always satisfied to let the story unfold around interesting characters.Published 2 months ago by Paul Maessen
Another great Inspector Erlender mystery. This one involves WWII espionage and is very intriguing. I'm a big fan of Arrnaldur Indridason and have read about 6 of his novels.Published 3 months ago by Bonnie Jean
Including some of the socialist influence on Icelandic students and their time in East Germany in this story was seamlessly handled and well integrated with the usual police... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Same review as the other one. Very good books. Lots of twists and turns as well as interesting characters. I'm "not in love" with the main character however.Published 4 months ago by Jeneane Sorensen
I enjoyed this novel a great deal. Indridason neatly weaves different strands of storylines into a whole ball of yarn. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lyn Clark