Bit of a drain

19 10 2010

The Draining Lake by Arnuldar Indridatson

From the 2007 Times review of the book:

In the 1960s, at the height of the cold war, someone killed a man and threw his body into the lake, where it lay undisturbed for almost four decades. Now the water level has fallen, exposing a skeleton weighed down by a radio transmitter made in the Soviet Union.

When the bones, half-buried in sand, are found by a hydrologist, she calls the police and triggers an investigation that leads back to a long-gone era of amateurish espionage and fake trade delegations. The way the body was disposed of suggests a cold-blooded execution, which is not the kind of crime Indridason’s detectives are used to investigating. “We’re Icelanders,” one of them protests. “The last execution in this country was done with an axe almost 200 years ago.”

Very good. I do enjoy these stories and the setting and the characters are extremely well drawn. Not high art but a really good yarn.

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