Thursday, February 26, 2009

BOOK: The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason

The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason, 373 pages
translated by Bernard Scudder

continuing mystery series

Give a brief summary of the book:
A body is found in a draining lake in Iceland with a Soviet radio transmitter wrapped around it. The detectives look into old missing person cases and end up investigating the role of spies in Iceland during the Cold War.

Like all good mystery series, the interactions between the detectives and their ongoing personal lives are what make the series so good. The mystery is doled out nicely with enough clues that you think you know, with both the detectives and some old characters' points of view of the story.
I like the personal demons that Erlendur faces, looking for missing people, like his lost brother, and his curmudgeonly ways of dealing with his partners. Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli are interesting in their own right. I'm not sure sometimes if Sigurdur Oli actually likes Erlendur making their interactions all the more amusing.

I can't think of anything really, it was a good solid mystery with that bleak, dreary Icelandic setting overlaying it. The flashbacks to East Germany in the 1950s showed a nice contrast between socialism as an ideal, and the practice that was implemented in the Warsaw Pact countries, but that part wasn't preachy at all.

Additional Thoughts:
I have the next book in the series here, Arctic Chill, waiting to be read. I usually like to read another couple of books before the next book in a series, but look for me to read it in the next month or so. Erlender is starting to make moves toward joining the human race, and actually caring about someone, so I am anxious to see how he is getting along.

(I am completely copying Samantha's great idea for reviewing series books, thanks Sam)


  1. I haven't read a mystery in years!! This sounds like a pretty good series though. I liked your post format with the likes/dislikes!!

  2. Sounds like a fantastic mystery. I love mysteries with a curmudgeon. One of my favorites (watched on TV, not read) is Inspector Morse (played by actor John Thaw). I should read the novels by Colin Dexter to see if the "book" Morse is just as world weary and curmudgeonly as the "TV" Morse!

  3. LOL! I basically borrowed the idea off of Bookfool who does awesome interview type reviews. I'm not quite that talented but figured it would make my life easier since I enjoy so many series. Great review BTW!

  4. I love this series - I have 'The Draining Lake' on my TBR pile - you have reminded me of its existence - so I will bump it up


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