Indriđason’s The Draining Lake / Petrona Remembered

This week’s post, on Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriđason’s The Draining Lake, can be found at the blog Petrona Remembered. It’s still one of my absolute favourites.

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26 thoughts on “Indriđason’s The Draining Lake / Petrona Remembered

  1. I was glad to see your review of this book. I have the first book in the series, unread. Your comparison of the detective to Wallender and Martin Beck gives me an idea of what to expect. I am endeavoring to read more international crime fiction, and your blog provides a lot of background for that. Thanks for that.

    And the post was a very nice tribute to Maxine.

  2. I’ve read ALL the Erlendur series in one go. I just couldn’t put the books down. Then I ran out of books and while waiting for the next one, I went on reading other books. I have to buy the latest book, but I feel that if I read it now, then I will go back into withdrawal and I will have to wait a while for the following book 😉
    Hi, my name is Sara and I’m a crime-fictionholic.

      • Yes, exactly! At the moment I’m reading some sort of semi-encyclopaedia of prehistoric herbal medicines (The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel). I like it but boy, is it long! I’m just half way through it. I can’t wait to finish it and find out what Erlendur was up to. I missed him in the last 2 books. Oh well… As you said, it will be a special treat! 🙂

      • Thank you! Full list of my eclectic reading available on my blog. I decided to use the blog to keep track of at least the titles and authors. I wish I had time to write proper reviews 😦
        Isn’t it funny that in my teens I wasn’t fond of reading (At. All.) but now I devour one book after the other?!
        This being said, I just couldn’t help it: the prehistoric encyclopaedia will have to wait a bit (probably no more than one week, I bet). I bought Erlendur’s last novel and I’ve started it. The official excuse is: I just don’t want to bump into spoilers 😉

      • Will pop over to check out what other wonderful things you’ve been tucking into. My problem is squeezing in non-crime reads…there just isn’t enough time…

      • Wow. Just wow. I can’t believe it is the last book. (I also can’t believe that in 6 weeks or so I’ll have my PhD viva and I spend the nights reading Nordic crime-fiction. But that’s another story…)

        I won’t give out any details about the book. You just have to read it.

        As soon as possible.

        Preferably. Now. 😉

      • Ooooh, I feel my resolve to wait a little longer weakening. So many people are saying that this one’s outstanding…

        All the VERY best with the preparation for your PhD viva, Sara. I bet you’ll knock ’em dead.

      • Yes, we are conspiring against your resolve 😀

        Thank you! I’ll do my best to keep the “knock ’em dead” figurative, although… well, I do have 007 written on my Italian vet. surgeons board ID card… 😉
        No kidding. Sadly, it is true, but it makes people laugh all the time.

  3. Hi Mrs P. I finished the latest Erlendur book last week, I think it’s the best so far. I think it moves beyond the crime novel, certainly a sence of foreboding prevails the book & I feel the ending is
    ambiguous! Some interesting reader comments on Amazon, BUT don’t look at them before reading the book!! One I do agree with, is that there is something missing from his non Erlendur
    books. Just waiting for the new Wagner which I put in a recommendation @ Bromley House, also the new Nesbo, which considering the ending of the last Harry Hole leaves me some what surprised that there’s a new one! At the mo just finishing Joseph Roths ‘The Emperors Tomb’ not a crime novel, but well worth a read.

    • Thanks, Brian – I’m even more keen to get my hands on it following your comments. I’ll definitely keep away from online comments – I couldn’t bear to inadvertantly read a spoiler.

      I’ve heard good things about the new Costin Wagner. Nice to have some quality reads in the pipeline… Your current one sounds interesting (haven’t read it myself to my shame).

  4. I love Indridason’s Erlendur series, and a favorite is Outrage with Elinborg. But Hypothermia is one of my favorite books in mystery fiction, not only by this author. I still think it should have won the CWA Dagger a few years ago.
    However, this one isn’t among my favorites. I liked Jar City, The Silence of the Grave, and the above-mentioned books. Black Skies was good. I would still rank Indridason as a favorite author, and I’m always eager to get his books as quickly as they get to the States.

    • Interesting, Kathy – The Draining Lake just didn’t grab you in the same way as the others? It was the first of the series that I read, which might be one reason for my fondness for it (although I did find the plot and themes very compelling).

      Either way, a favourite author of a great many, and one of the very best in my view.

  5. Ta for the link to Euro Crime Mrs P. Great review of the new Costin Wagner, & the new Harry Hole, so now we know, or do we!
    Pre ordered the new Leif Persson which comes out in October, the previous one was in Febuary,
    where’s the time gone!! It seemed such a long time to wait for the next one! Just finished the Roth
    book realy excellent 5 stars for me.

    • You can’t beat a good bit of the Euro Crime website: it’s a *great* place to check out new and upcoming releases. I’ve read the new Harry Hole, but am going to stay very, very quiet!

      Oh good, new Persson. Can’t wait.

  6. One of the many kudos I can give Indridason is that he, as a male author, deals with issues of abuse against women very well — in both The Silence of the Grave and Outrage. And, as with Elinborg, he draws a woman protagonist well, too.
    That was a reason I liked The Silence of the Grave so much, so much empathy for women — and children in abusive households.
    And since the above post was about Nesser, I can say he dealt with crimes against women well in Women with Birthmark.
    This is a big plus for me with male authors. Do they write about these issues and how do they handle them?

    • I’m really glad you raised this point, Kathy. I’ve read a few novels recently (by Scandi authors) that have – in my view – contained gratuitous violence against women. Like you I value novels that deal more sensitively with the issue of gendered violence and display that all important quality of empathy. Another author I would add to your list is Leif G.W. Persson, who does an excellent job in his novel Linda, As in the Linda Murder.

  7. WOW brilliant review of ‘Strange Shores’ in this weeks TLS by Paul Binding under the heading
    Fiction, yes not Crime, just fiction. I said I thought this book moved beyond genre fiction, & that’s the theme of his review. In fact he believes all 9 books in the series as he puts it ‘ move out of genre fiction into the challenging domain of serious literature. As I said wow! Definitely worth getting hold of this weeks issue, I’m fortunate BH take all the literature papers. Oh & there are no
    spoilers!

    • Thanks for letting us know, Brian – shall take a look once I get hold of a copy (currently behind the paywall).

      I think it’s always helpful to assert crime fiction’s capacity to be simply great literature, but do wonder if we haven’t moved beyond the stage of even needing to debate that question any more – there are so many fine examples that spring to mind. Also: does a novel need to move out of the category of genre fiction to be serious literature? Why can’t it be both at once? I feel a blog post coming on… 🙂

  8. I agree that Indridason’s books belong in the domain of “serious” literature, although I think separating crime fiction — when there are so many brilliant books — from “literary” fiction isn’t
    needed. I so liked “Hypothermia,” and think it transcends “crime fiction,” but don’t want to say it that way exactly, as there are many excellent mysteries that fall into this characterization.

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