Inspector Erlendur returns in this gripping Icelandic thriller
When a skeleton is discovered half-buried in a construction site outside of ReykjavIk, Inspector Erlendur finds himself knee-deep in both a crime scene and an archeological dig. Bone by bone, the body is unearthed, and the brutalizing history of a family who lived near the building site comes to light along with it. Was the skeleton a man or a woman, a victim or a killer, and is this a simple case of murder or a long-concealed act of justice?
As Erlendur tries to crack this cold case, he must also save his drug-addicted daughter from self destruction and somehow glue his hopelessly fractured family back together. Like the chilly Nordic mysteries of Henning Mankell and Karen Fossum, Arnaldur Indridason delivers a stark police procedural full of humanity and pathos, a classic noir from a very cold place.
©2002 Arnaldur Indridason, English translation ©2005 by Bernard Scudder (P)2012 Recorded Books
"Silence of the Grave" is difficult to read. I wanted several times to stop listening. Not because the novel is not good, but because it is so terrible and raw at times. It opens with the discovery of a rib bone at a construction site. Inspector Erlendur and his team are called in to investigate. From there a second story begins. It takes place prior to and during world war two. It is the story of a cruelly battered woman and her three small children. It is the story of how the bones made their way into the grave. It was heart wrenching to listen too. Back in Erlendur's day, as he investigates the mystery, he is also dealing with his daughter's drug induced miscarriage and the coma she falls into as a result. The novel goes from there. It is beautifully written and the mystery is more than compelling. The author does a wonderful job of fleshing out each of the characters in the novel and giving them a "soul". The novel was absorbing, and as I mentioned terrible. I found it worth the journey to reach the end and discover all of the secrets the unknown grave held. Although I admit, I will be chosing lighter fare for my next novel. I recommend this novel to any fan of the "Nordic Mystery" genre. I must also mention the superlative narration of George Guidall. He reads the novel perfectly.
This is not just a mystery; it's an indictment of spousal abuse. Unfortunately, it rings true today, and far beyond the boundaries of Iceland, as well. It has a wealth of detail and character development, sometimes a bit too much. The narrator, George Guidell, does his excellent job.
I found this book haunting and compelling. The narration was excellent. Each character and thread ultimately sad but told with humanity. The conclusions realistic - some resolutions, some hope for the future and some questions remaining unanswered.
domestic violence, drug abuse
well, I probably won't read another book by this particular author for awhile.
The two story lines were both VERY VERY depressing; it wasn't a good fit for me at this point.
A story of domestic violence and drug abuse.
I used to be a fan of 'Nordic Noir' but it is getting awfully predictable. This is just plain lugubrious and dreary - with A LOT of social preaching ( yes - we all now get that the Scandinavian model of society has its downside) while more or less completely forgetting the actual story. Readers/listeners are NOT just punching bags for long social commentary masked as realist noir fiction. This was slow, depressing and felt like wading through mud. Not helped by this narrator - who I have heard and had trouble with before. Slow, and too 'folksy'. Very little variation. That was OK - just - in the Longmire books; but the combo in this one sinks the ship.
I thought that Silence of the Grave would be more like a Harry Hole or Harry Bosch book but not quite. I bought this book based on the fantastic reviews which were just a bit skewed in my opinion. I was hoping for a more macho storyline and am not one who enjoys soap operas and family dramas.
The ending was a bit of a surprise in that it was very abrupt.
George Guidall is always a great narrator and this book was no exception.
I believe it is already a series.
I would like to see a search filter that delineates books rated highly by men vs those rated highly by women.
This is a terrific series. The characters, plot, dialogue and narrative are paced so the listener can easily follow but complicated enough to keep interest at a high pitch. The narrator brings each character a personality without overdoing the acting. I've bought the next in the series, and looking forward to another great mystery.
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