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.
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"Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli ... aren't particularly persuasive characters, but flashbacks to the University of Leipzig during the Cold War provide compelling insights into the splintered politics of the day." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. This is exceptional fiction that transcends its genre." - Library Journal.
"Beleaguered, dutiful Erlendur remains a compelling Everyman, and Indridason writes with clarity, precision and elegance." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Arnaldur Indridason is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction; most of his books feature the protagonist Detective Erlendur. He worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe.
Arnaldur received the Glass Key award, a literature prize for the best Nordic crime novel, in 2002 and 2003. He won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award in 2005 for his novel Silence of the Grave. He won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing worth 125,000, in 2013 for Shadow Alley (Skuggasund).
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