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Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) [Paperback]

Arnaldur Indridason , Bernard Scudder
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Oct 2010 Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2

Building work in an expanding Reykjavík uncovers a shallow grave.

Years before, this part of the city was all open hills, and Erlendur and his team hope this is a typical Icelandic missing person scenario; perhaps someone once lost in the snow, who has lain peacefully buried for decades. Things are never that simple.

Whilst Erlendur struggles to hold together the crumbling fragments of his own family, his case unearths many other tales of family pain. The hills have more than one tragic story to tell: tales of failed relationships and heartbreak; of anger, domestic violence and fear; of family loyalty and family shame. Few people are still alive who can tell the story, but even secrets taken to the grave cannot remain hidden forever...

Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger.

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Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) + Jar City (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 1) + Voices (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099548550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099548553
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Arnaldur Indridason worked for many years as a journalist and critic before he began writing novels. Outside Iceland, he is best known for his crime novels featuring Erlendur and Sigurdur Óli, which are consistent bestsellers across Europe. The series has won numerous awards, including the Nordic Glass Key and the CWA Gold Dagger.

Product Description


"Here is a new voice that demands to be listened to" (Reginald Hill)

"A writer worth seeking out'" (Sunday Telegraph)

"One of the most brilliant crime writers of his generation" (Sunday Times)

"Inspector Erlendur is one of the most compassionate detectives to come this way in a long time" (New York Times)

Book Description

Detective Erlendur and his team investigate Reykjavík's hidden past to unravel a case of human nastiness. Tense, atmospheric and disturbingly real, this is an outstanding continuation of the Reykjavík Murder Mysteries.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This novel, which won the Best Nordic Crime Award in the year it was published, is a worthy successor to the magnificent "Jar City" (now republished as Tainted Blood). In it Indridason tells three tales in parallel: the investigation into the identity of the bodies found in a shallow grave and two tales featuring female abuse from the days of WWII.
To be honest, the strength of this novel doesn't actually lie in the traditional murder mystery but in the depth of the social commentary. Abused wives and children still exist, but the behaviour of the abuser is no longer tolerated and social mechanisms are in place to protect the vulnerable. 60 years ago this was not the case and the portrait Indridason paints of a wife-batterer and his abused family is powerful and harrowing, yet never voyeuristic. He is more concerned with the psychological destruction of the soul rather than the physical breaking of bones.
The other strength of this novel is his downtrodden detective, Erlendur, whose family life is as traumatic as that of the people he investigates. Is Erlendur, who is portraited realistically, warts and all, partly to blame? This mystery is offered alongside the traditional murder and it's one for which there is no open and shut case.
I read this novel in 2 sittings. The author is one to watch. At one week in the summer of 2003, his crime novels occupied the top five spots in the Icelandic bestseller list.
Only two have been translated into English. Does anyone know when the next one is due?
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A corpse is found on a hill in the outskirts of Reykjavik. It looks like it has already been there for a long time, but the excavation goes terribly slow because a team of archaeologists is carrying out the work. In the meantime inspector Erlendur and his colleagues try to get a picture of what happened 50 to 70 years ago. Slowly but surely they find out the awful truth. In between the story line of the investigation, there is another storyline about a family consisting of a father, mother, 2 brothers and a handicapped sister. It soon becomes apparent that something horrible happened in the family and this is written down so vividly that I had to put down the book a few times because it nearly became too much. An in the meantime Erlendur's drugs-addicted daughter Eva Lind is in a coma and he finally finds the courage to tell her what he feels for her. In short, this is a wonderful, sensitive thriller with a lot of psychological insight, well-developed storylines and beautiful descriptions of the various characters.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darkness and courage 6 Nov 2010
By Ramses
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is number 2 in the Erlendur series. Having read "Jar City" (number 1) first, I found this one much darker, and as much gripping as the first one. We find our now familiar cop heroes back, Erlendur and Elinborg and Sigurdur Oli, investigating a found skeleton. Without giving anything away about the plot, this is about two stories in parallel that obviously must meet somewhere, and it was skillfully told. I found the plot quite good, but what struck me the most was the clash between the dark mind of the "bad guy" and the courage of his victims. All this mirrored in Erlendur's present with his daughter. Quite impressive litterary feat, no frills, straight prose and dialogs, economy of language but very effective, all from the very first page.
Absolutely great stuff that kept me riveted.
Now I am almost afraid of starting the next one in the series, it can't be as good. I hope it is. GREAT WRITER.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing 23 Sep 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think this is the most harrowing book I've ever read in my life. The psychology of the wife-beater, the wife and her journey into submission are absolutely spot on.

In addition to the two 'historical' plots, we also have the contemporary unravelling and the soap opera that is evolving around the lives of the three detectives - all expertly handled.

I made the mistake of opening this book up after lunch on a Sunday - and I just couldn't put it down - not for a single minute - the dialogue and pace are absolutely gripping. I eventually emerged in the early evening feeling as though I'd lived a parallel life in a different timestream. It really is that good - no wonder it's won awards all over the place.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good and absorbing read 10 Mar 2007
By tregatt
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second installment in Arnaldur Indridason's Detective Inspector Erlendur Svinssson series, and it definitely does, in my opinion, top "Jar City" -- the first book in the series. Evenly paced and highly suspenseful, it is no wonder that "Silence of the Grave" won the Golden Dagger Award. I certainly was riveted by this novel and (literally) read on relentlessly till the very last page.

When skeletal remains are discovered at the building site of a new housing estate, Detective Inspector Erlendur Svinsson and his team are called in to take charge of the case. The first thing the team must do is establish just how long the skeleton has lain buried, and then determine if this indeed a case of murder, or something else. And if certain members of Erlendur's team (Detective Sigurdur Oli in particular) aren't too sure why they're wasting so much time on a cold case, it is obvious that Erlendur holds to the belief that every suspicious death deserves an investigation, and that Erlendur at least feels that there is something suspicious about this mysterious burial. Elendur's quest to learn the truth will take him back to Iceland during W.W.II, and to the guilty secrets of two families in particular. This case will also lead him to reexamine on his own past and his own failed relationships with his ex-wife and his two children, and to wonder if it is not too late to repair the damage...

Arnadldue Indridason is a very gifted storyteller, and I have to thank both him and his brilliant translator, Bernard Scudder, for the 4 very pleasurable hours I spent reading "Silence of the Grave." The novel was evenly paced, taut and completely riveting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Silence of the grave
Five stars for this book really enjoyed it and will recommend to my friends will have to start third book now
Published 2 days ago by Janice robertson
5.0 out of 5 stars very good. Like all scandinavian type fiction
very good. Like all scandinavian type fiction, the characters seem real
Published 16 days ago by sarah dack
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by LILLY GRAHAM
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I thought nothing could surpass Jar City but this overtook it by a mile!
Published 2 months ago by G. Lilley
5.0 out of 5 stars marvellous!
Having read Jar City, I eagerly moved on to this novel. All I can say is that I read it in virtually one sitting and found it moving, tragic and a total gem. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Col
5.0 out of 5 stars The jigsaw is completed by painstaking questioning
This book, the fourth in the series of Reykjavík Murder novels featuring Detective Erlendur and his colleagues Sigurdur Óli and Elínborg, won the CWA Gold... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars Indridason is an excellent writer!
This is an excellent book, as are all the other ones in this series!
Published 3 months ago by LouiseinWinchester
4.0 out of 5 stars Glamour profession
Being an avid Henning Mankell reader, I was on the lookout for more quality Nordic noir. The excellent movie of Jar City prompted me to read the original book and now Silence of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by The Bodacious Cowboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good - will read others by Indridason
A brilliant evocation of Iceland: people, climate, landscape, hard life (especially in the past.) Confident plotting - liked the two stories being revealed simultaneously plus... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs A Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars very good story - sadly let down by the translator
An engaging, thoughtful and complex book which keeps you guessing. Sadly (just like the first in the series) the translation is very poor and in places very distracting - with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by casita
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