tirsdag den 1. december 2009

I for Indridason

For this week´s ABC meme I have found a review of a great crime story I read shortly before I began blogging here in January.

(For a short, English summary look beneath the Danish review).





Arnaldur Indridason, Manden i Søen (Modtryk 2008)
- oversat fra islandsk (2004) -

"Hun gik tilbage til skelettet. Hun brændte efter at undersøge det nærmere, grave uden om det og børste sandet af det. Men tænkte ved sig selv, at politiet sandsynligvis ikke ville være specielt begejstrede for det. Hun overvejede, om det var en mand eller en kvinde, og mindedes engang at have læst, velsagtens i en krimi, at der næsten ingen forskel var på skelettet hos en mand og en kvinde; kun bækkenet var forskelligt. Men så huskede hun også, at en eller anden havde fortalt hende, at man ikke kunne regne med, hvad der stod i krimier."

Jamen hvad kan vi så regne med???

Den midaldrende, mandlige detektiver er typisk en vaskeægte indadvendt gnavpot, men efter fire møder med Indridasons hovedperson, Erlendur Sveinsson, vil jeg mene han er tæt på at tage prisen som pessimisten over dem alle. Han kan vist bedst sammenlignes med mavesårsramte Martin Beck fra den klassiske Sjöwall & Wahlööserie.

Vandet i Kleifarvatn synker støt og roligt. Gammel søbund åbenbares og et gammelt skelet dukker bogstaveligt talt op til overfladen. Sporene fører snart langt tilbage i tiden, nemlig til den kolde krig, hvor nogle unge islændinge blev glødende kommunister og rejste til universitetet i Leipzig for at studere blandt andre rettroende. Her opdager de, at det tager tid at indføre det socialistiske paradis, og flere af dem har svært ved at indordne sig under etpartisystemer og gensidig overvågning, hvor de snart ikke ved hvem der er ven, og hvem der er fjende.

Denne sag er lige noget for Erlendur, som er på en livslang søgen efter forsvundne islændinge, og tydeligvis har lettere ved at finde sig til rette i fortiden end blandt de nulevende.

Indridason har endnu en gang skrevet en god, gedigen krimi, og når det endnu en gang skal siges, at miljø og personskildringen næsten er bedre end krimiplottet, skal det ikke forstås som kritik  denne forfatter er bare god til det hele!

Arnaldur Indridason, The Draining Lake (2007).

The water level in lake Kleifarvatn drops dramatically to reveal the skeleton of a male body. The police soon discover that the case is related to the Cold War when a group of young Icelanders joined the Communist cause and went to Leipzig to study in what was supposed to be a Socialist Paradise. It soon dawns on them that change takes time and they find it difficult to adjust to oneparty systems, as well as an environment of espionage and counterespionage.

Detective Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson is the archetypal middleaged pessimist. He may be compared to Martin Beck, Sjöwall and Wahlöö´s classical ulcerous policeman.
Our grumpy yet sympathetic Erlenduer is on a lifelong quest  his younger brother disappeared in a blizzard when they were small so Erlendur apparently searches for his brother in every case involving a missing person.

The plot is convincing, the gloomy Icelandic environment is fascinating and the characters even more so. Indridason deserves the prices he has received for his crime stories!

11 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Thanks for sharing The Draining Lake. I have to admit to not being really familiar with Indriðason, and I haven't read this one, but it does sound interesting, and the idea of a story-across stories (i.e. Sveinsson's search for his brother)fascinates me. Nice review

R. T. sagde ...

Dorte: Keep spreading the word--Arnaldur Indridason is a master. To my mind, he is the best writer working today in the genre.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: I am glad I recommended him then.

As you can see from R.T.´s comment, Indridason is a first class crime writer, and I am sure you will also enjoy his ability to create a sense of place. It is like being there.

R.T.: was that good enough? ;D

Maxine sagde ...

Thanks for the review of this superb book, Dorte. I loved this book, partly because I just like Erlunder and the series; but also because of the wonderful but tragic back-story set in Leipzig; and partly becuase of the great humour, eg as Erlunder goes round the embassies and encounters the various stuffinesses, etc.
Thanks again for highlighting this excellent book, and author.

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

This does sound really interesting. Sounds like the setting and the personality of the policeman makes this a darker read. I like the idea of Erlenduer's ongoing search for his brother.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Kerrie sagde ...

I really enjoyed THE DRAINING LAKE Dorte. Have you really only been blogging this year? addictive isn't it? Thanks for your contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: I am glad you liked it. Actually I came across Indridason´s debut two years ago when I was asked to do a public reading at our local library (a crime night, me reading at candlelight). I fell for his works immediately.

Elizabeth: yes, the atmosphere is dark and the protagonist gloomy, yet the stories are not at all horrid or graphic.

Jose Ignacio Escribano sagde ...

What can I say. Just thank you again Dorte for your recommendation. I was not sure to start reading Indridason, but thanks to your review I will place him on top of my TBR list.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kerrie: I tried another blog in December 2008 but never found any readers or fellow bloggers so I moved to this one in Jan 2009. It certainly is addictive!

Jose: as you can see from the comments, I am far from the only reader who is enthusiastic about Indridason. And it is always nice to hear one has tempted a reader to try something new.

Beth F sagde ...

The Icelandic setting interests me. This author is new to me.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: I think you´d enjoy him very much. He does setting and atmosphere very well.