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Silence of the Grave

by Arnaldur Indridason


I read the first Reykjavik mystery in 2011 so I thought it was time that I left my usual Swedish and Danish detectives behind and returned to Iceland. This novel AGAIN features Erlendur, Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli and takes place some moths after the first novel, ‘Jar City’. Erlendur is a middle-aged detective, sombre in mood and divorced. His two children have been turned against him by his ex-wife but his pregnant junkie daughter has tried to build bridges. In this novel, Erlendur finds her collapsed outside the hospital and she is in a coma and as he sits talking to her, secrets of his own are revealed.

The story begins when a body is discovered on hill in the outskirts of Reykjavik and as it appears to have been there many years, archaeologists are called in to excavate it. Domestic abuse is a thread in this story which weaves between past and present after in the time that it takes for the body and it’s secrets to come to light, the reader is taken to the past, to the the present and two tales are told while the silken thread of domestic abuse embroiders the whole novel, horribly. Some scenes are not for the faint of heart.

It is a story sensitively told and at times it is harrowing in its realism. It was a gripping read.

Detective Erlendur, I will be joining you again in another investigation.