Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder
a Reykjavik Murder Mystery
winner of the CWA Gold Dagger 2005
He knew at once it was a human bone, when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it. And away we go on a murder mystery in Iceland that kept me reading, as all good mysteries should. The bone the baby was chewing leads to a body in a shallow grave, found in a construction site of a newly developed area outside of Reykjavik. Erlendur, one of the detectives in charge of this cold case, is sad and depressed and dealing with his comatose drug addicted daughter at the same time. His story was just as interesting as the mystery.
There are two possibilities for the crime that the detectives are following, and one of them is a horrific case of domestic violence. We follow that story simultaneously, much like an episode of Cold Case, and it is quite depressing, but the atmosphere is written very well, as the weather and the landscape are described to perfectly match the story. I had to keep turning to find out what happened, wondering how it would end.
I liked the history of Iceland, the setting itself, the detectives, the red herrings, the suspense, pretty much everything. If you like mysteries, this would be a good read.