Review: Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason (Vintage)


Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
Published by Vintage and Out Now

Silence of the Grave is the second in the Detective Erlendur series by Arnaldur Indridason , though forth in the series Sons of Dust and Silent Kill came out before Tainted Blood but I don’t think have been released in the UK.

It’s also the third book I’ve read having read The Draining Lake, the fourth UK release, and then the first UK release Tainted Blood.

The only reason I’m mentioning it is that I’m working back towards The Draining Lake so it’s nice to see the subtle character development that Indridason  weaves into each book for Erlendur and his two other detectives, Elíborg and Sigurdur Óli and just to save any confusion Elíborg is female and Sigurdur Óli is male. Together they have to solve the mystery of a skeleton that is found in the Millenium Quarter as building work extents to Reyjavik

The story is in two parts. One is the discovery of the bones and investigation set in the modern day and the other is the story of the area where the bones were found and the family who lived there around time of World War II.

Indridason  is a becoming a master of combining these two views. The historical events leading up to a murder and the investigation after a body is found.  Each gives a fuller understanding and an emotional connection that would be lost without seeing the flip-side to the coin.

And this fits the character of Erlendur, who is on the side of the missing and the lost, after a tragedy in his own life, and he extends those feelings to victims of similar circumstances.  That tragedy creates a scene of its own when a woman offers information that should soothe Erlendur but seems to just upset him more.

Indridason  delves into the life of the major and minor characters and gives them the sense of life outside the scenes they are in. This makes for a rounded and emotionally connecting read. Indridason  plays with the reader as we move slowly to the discovery the owner of the bones and seeing how they were killed.

I must admit the story of the family is harrowing and distressing and a good reminder how we’re more supported in the present than we have been in the past and that male dominance needs tapering.

I’m definitely reading the next one, Voices, and it’s sitting on my Sony Reader right now. Indridason  has carved out his own niche and that’s made him one of my favourite crime writers.

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