Saturday, February 23, 2008

BOOK: Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridson

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.


  1. This year I'm going to read the first one in this series! I'm looking forward to it. Glad to read that further down the line they are still good. :)

  2. joy - I saw that there was a first book, but the 2nd one seemed fine with out the first. I'll look forward to hear what you think about the first one.

  3. I really enjoy this series. I hope to get to the third book this year. I am glad you enjoyed Silence of the Grave!

  4. wendy - I thought you'd like this book but didn't know you had already read it. I saw the next two at the book store today. It was fun to find a book on my own, and then discover that other people already liked it. I found it browsing on the library database, just looking for 'mysteries around the world', and knew nothing about it. I thought if I read mysteries from other countries, I could read around the world books, but still get my fill of mysteries.

  5. Oh gross out! What a way to start a book... although I have to admit, it's certainly an attention-grabber.

    I love Cold Case even though it sometimes makes me cry. I've recently just caught up with the entire series and started on Criminal Minds. Not really the same but it is really interesting.

  6. You must read more by Indridason

    The order they are published in English is not their original order of publication

  7. tink - I always cry during the final scene on Cold Case, the musical montage. I can't wait for new shows again. Criminal Minds is so creepy. I watch but it really creeps me out.

    kerrie - I've already looked up the rest of the books, really fabulous mystery. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Most of my reads tend to be Canadian, American and British with an ocassional Russian thrown in for good measure- I like the udea of a murder mystery set in Reykavik.

  9. I have this author on my list for a while. I may need to read it in the summer when I can stand to read dark and dreary atmosphere.

  10. john - it was very interesting to read about Iceland, of course, now I'd love to go there, but it's a place that has always intrigued me

    booklogged - it would be great in the summer, I hope you enjoy it.

  11. I loved this book! I have to get the next ones still. I think Iceland is a great setting, and the writing is very noir, and I really like the characters. Thanks for reviewing this book - I read it before I got on to my blog. I may have to do what Suzie at Naked Without Books is doing, and start reviewing books I read before my blogging life! (as if I have time, but in my dreams I have time for everything!!!)

  12. susan - I'm amazed at how many people have read this book. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.


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