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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Silence of the Grave

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

shocking

this book was tense and humbling it was something that will stay with Me for awhile.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely, Dark & Deep

"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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Facing the Subject Head On

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 usual excellent job.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Satisfying and interesting, but sad tale.

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Talk about depressing!!!

If you could sum up Silence of the Grave in three words, what would they be?

domestic violence, drug abuse

Has Silence of the Grave turned you off from other books in this genre?

well, I probably won't read another book by this particular author for awhile.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The two story lines were both VERY VERY depressing; it wasn't a good fit for me at this point.

Any additional comments?

A story of domestic violence and drug abuse.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

5

One well thought out, well plotted mystery spanning 60 years, or not. One outstanding narrator. George Guidall. This could have missed being a 5 by a country mile- but it does not. It is lovely mystery with which to pass and enjoy time. Intelligent, fine characters, Iceland --how many countries are as interesting?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible violence against women and children

This book had some of the most depressing parts to it that I have ever read/listened to. If u, like me, have a low tolerance for scenes where women and children r being tortured, especially over years by the male head of household, then u may want to skip this book and try another by this author. The book moves a little slowly, which for me were unbearable during these grotesquely cruel parts. I finally had to fast forward some through the last one. The narrator, George Guidall, is excellent, and a little too good in this particular book. I am going to read some other books by this author though. I think he writes well, though there r some parts where u can see things coming so clearly and the detective doesn't that it seems silly. I think there was a point to be made with the violence, tho I sure didn't need so much of it. How violence against women and children goes on and on, in every culture, and no system of "justice" does a thing for them. .

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terminal, in every sense

Normally love the scandi view of murder and crime but the way this story is told was repetitive to the point of aggravation. It may be a norse saga-style structure - I've no clue? But each element of the plot is reviewed about 4 times, to the degree I was shouting back at the characters: I know! I know! I know! Given the very loaded subject matter - family abuse - this pseudo-suspenseful/B film method is not the way to engage with such a critical matter. I'll not be reading this exploitative writer again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Irritating characters but can't stop listening.

These are not lovable protagonists. Lead detective seems like he awoke from a long nap. "Boss. a body has been found at the intersection of 4th and Main Street. " "What do you mean, a body's been found at 4th and Main?" "Just what I said. a body's found at 4th and Main." " What body?" :Don't know , yet. " "Where is this body." You get the idea. Very different from American crime procedurals. Interviews of suspects tend to be gentle and you wonder if and when this crime will ever be solved. What is striking are the intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics - losses. regrets, self-doubt... What comes through in the end. however, is kindness and decency . Makes me look forward to the next case. The narrator is excellent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful and overwhelming

An interesting Icelandic tale the best and worst of humanity A story of survival suffering hate strength and dignity and murder of souls!