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Book: The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason

To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company. ~Andre Gide

The Draining Lake (Reykjavik Thriller Series #4)I guess I should consider it time I quit reading murder mysteries. While the tales can be intriguing, the predictability at the end typically leaves me frustrated. I spend multiple hours reading a book and the end does not surprise me, the end is something I could have predicted some hours before having the murderer ‘revealed’ to me. When reading I like to be surprised, like to not be able to figure out the answer before it is supposed to be revealed. With this book, I figured out one of the two characters that was most likely the murderer about two thirds of my way through the book.

The book was not a total bust. The story partially takes place in East Germany during the Cold War. I found the descriptions of the time interesting, enjoyed how the characters from that time were awakened to the realization that the life they had chosen was not what they expected. The flashbacks to the 1960s were, for me, far more interesting than the lives of the characters trying to solve the crime.

My favorite part of the mystery was gaining an understanding of the Icelandic culture. The book takes place in Iceland so we get a picture of the people, the mindset that develops when living in a small country with very long, dark winters and summer days when the sun almost never sets. I also got a feel for some of the political climate both in the 1960s and in modern day.

I can only recommend the book as a tool for learning a little bit of Icelandic culture and of life behind the iron curtain during the Cold War. As a mystery, I found it to be lacking.


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