The Draining Lake

An Inspector Erlendur Novel

An Inspector Erlendur Series (Volume 4)

Arnaldur Indridason

Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books

Download Image Arnaldur Indridason The Draining Lake

Available Formats


An international sensation, published in over twenty five countries around the world, Arnaldur Indridason attained instant fame in the English-speaking mystery world after winning the Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave. His other crime novels in the series, Jar City and Voices, have also been published to highest acclaim—U.S. readers who have already discovered this extraordinary writer are eagerly anticipating this latest Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson thriller.

Following an earthquake, the water level of an Icelandic lake suddenly falls, revealing a skeleton that is weighed down by a heavy radio device bearing inscriptions in Russian. Inspectors Erlendur, Elinborg, and Sigurdur Oli’s investigation takes them back to the Cold War era, when bright, left-wing students in Iceland were sent to study in the “heavenly state” of Communist East Germany.

But one of the students went missing, and her friends suspected that her “heavenly state” was all too real. Erlendur follows a long cold trail that leads back to Iceland, international espionage, and murder.

Another astonishing Reykjavík thriller from one of crime fiction’s brightest stars, The Draining Lake is Arnaldur Indridason’s most gripping book yet.

Connect with the Author

Arnaldur Indridason

Official Sites

Related Links

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt


She stood motionless for a long time, staring at the bones as if it should not be possible for them to be there. Any more than for her.

At first she thought it was another sheep that had drowned in the lake, until she moved closer and saw the skull half-buried in the lake bed and the shape of a human skeleton. The ribs protruded from the sand and beneath them could be seen the outlines of the pelvis and thigh bones. The skeleton was lying on its left side so she could see the right side of the skull, the empty eye sockets and three teeth in the upper jaw.

Read the full excerpt



Praise for The Draining Lake

Unanimous Acclaim for Arnaldur Indridason and the Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson series

“The best new series I’ve read this year. Arnaldur Indridason is already an international literary phenom---and it's easy to see why. His novels are gripping, authentic, haunting and lyrical. I can't wait for the next.”
- Harlan Coben on Silence of the Grave

“Arnaldur Indridason is a writer of astonishing gravitas and talent.”
- John Lescroart on Jar City

"A book as subtle and moving as it is suspenseful."
- Wall Street Journal on The Draining Lake

“A commanding new voice . . . puts Iceland on the map as a major destination for enthusiasts of Nordic crime fiction.”
- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review on Silence of the Grave

"Exceptional fiction that transcends its genre."
- Library Journal (starred review) on The Draining Lake

“No wonder Arnaldur Indridason won so many awards. He's a great storyteller, and American readers will overwhelmingly agree.”
- C.J. Box, Anthony Award winning author of Blue Heaven on Jar City

“Indridason keeps readers guessing until the very last pages.”
- Washington Post Book World on The Draining Lake

“Excellent . . . compelling . . . the denouement of this astonishingly vivid and subtle novel is unexpected and immensely satisfying.”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Silence of the Grave

"A must-visit locale for mystery fans."
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch on The Draining Lake

“Classic mystery fiction, both compassionate and thrilling. Indridason is one of the brightest stars in the the genre's dark skies.”
- John Connolly on Jar City

“Remarkable . . . another top-notch story from Indridason, its lyrical melancholy matched by the depth of its characterizations.”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Voices

“Reminiscent of Simenon.”
- Reginald Hill on Jar City

“Every one of these writers is good [Hakan Nesser, Kjell Eriksson, Ake Edwardson, Helene Tursten, Karin Fossum], but in my book, Arnaldur Indridason is even better.”
- Joe Queenan, Los Angeles Times

“Dark, haunting . . . touched me in a way that few mystery novels do.”
- Hallie Ephron, The Boston Globe on Jar City

“A wonderfully storyteller. It's impossible to put the book down once you begin reading.”
- The Globe and Mail on Voices

"An undiluted pleasure. This series places Indridason at the center of the best of contemporary crime fiction. He is a master storyteller, and has a real gift for evoking complex humanity."
- The Guardian on The Draining Lake

“Fans of mystery in general and Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum can only exult.”
- Library Journal (starred review) on Jar City

“Indridason has definitely vaulted onto the A-list of Scandinavian crime authors.”
- Booklist on Silence of the Grave

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason

Arnaldur Indridason, author of the Reykjavík Thrillers, was born in 1961. He worked at an Icelandic newspaper, first as a journalist and then for many years as a film reviewer. He won the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel for both Jar City and Silence of the Grave, and in 2005 Silence of the Grave also won the Crime Writers Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of the year. The film of Jar City (available on DVD) was Iceland’s entry for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Indridason lives in Reykjavík with his family.

Arnaldur Indridason

Photo: Einar Falur Ingolfsson
Arnaldur Indridason

Official Sites



Latest Blog Posts

More Blog Posts

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter


Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group


Get the Guide

Download PDF

Tell Your Friends


Find More Books

Go to Website

Stay Updated

Sign Up

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Draining Lake
An Inspector Erlendur Novel
Arnaldur Indridason


Macavity Award - Nominee

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books
September 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429963459
ISBN10: 142996345X
320 pages

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
September 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312428587
ISBN10: 0312428588
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages

From The Publisher

Minotaur Books

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter