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The Silence of the Sea [Paperback]

Yrsa Sigurdardottir
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: £13.99
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014

The most chilling novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardottir, an international bestseller at the height of her powers.

'Mummy dead.' The child's pure treble was uncomfortably clear. It was the last thing Brynjar - and doubtless the others - wanted to hear at that moment. 'Daddy dead.' It got worse. 'Adda dead. Bygga dead.' The child sighed and clutched her grandmother's leg. 'All dead.'

A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbour with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon?

Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired by the young father's parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery. What should she make of the rumours saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing twins? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht's former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444734466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444734461
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Yrsa Sigurdardottir is ensconced at or near the summit of Nordic crime writing, and the lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdottir is an appealing heroine full of real-life problems. (Marcel Berlins The Times)

The writing is excellent, the investigation scrupulous and the outcome miserable. (Literary Review)

An artfully constructed, highly entertaining read. (Radio Times)

A corker of a locked-room mystery, with one of the most dramatic twists in recent crime fiction. (The Sunday Times)

Book Description

Chilling Scandinavian crime from 'Iceland's answer to Stieg Larsson' - Daily Telegraph

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid "locked-room" mystery 28 Feb 2014
By fasi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A splendid fast-moving page-turner in the great tradition of locked-room mysteries. Moreover it does not conform to the stereotype of unrelieved grittiness now typical of much Scandinavian crime-writing. While the build-up of the mystery aboard the yacht is tense and doom-laden, it is interspersed with the attempts to solve the mystery by a very believable and fundamentally likeable investigator. And no gratuitous sex!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling tour de force 8 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The Silence of the Sea" features an intriguing opening chapter: a luxury yacht arrives at its destination, but no-one is onboard. What happened to the crew and the passengers? And could there be an underlying reason or reasons for their disappearance?

Scandinavian crime fiction seems to dominate the publishing world at present and, although the novels I have read so far from this area have been of a very high standard, this particular book sets the bar even higher. I am reluctant to discuss too much of the plot but let's just say that there are a number of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing. However, where I feel the book really stands out is its depiction of the sea voyage leading to the discovery in the first chapter. The tension is not confined to the interaction between the crew and its passengers, but also the sea itself: there is a real sense of isolation and fear with the yacht in the ocean with no other contact for miles around. This sense of social deprivation lingers on after the book's ending, which is in itself gives another layer to the plot.

It's also worth pointing out that the translation is a very good one: the rule of thumb with translating is that the language should sound natural and in effect not read as if it is a translation.

I hope that the writer will release many more works in future. This is a classic work of crime fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
its a bit too incredible and loses its way after about 1/3 way through, there is a red herring early on which never materialises which is annoying, lawyer thinks she sees child legs hiding under bed but doesn't confirm it, dismisses as mind games, this device is used twice to no effect.

Also if you are not Icelandic the names are difficult but that is some of the charm. Apparantly earlier books are better but I won't be trying one after this, towards the end I sped read it just to confirm the end was what I thought it would be, I was right,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be read on a cruise 28 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a truely creepy book much of which is set on a yacht sailing from Lisbon to Iceland. This is told in parallel with the investigation into what happened to the passengers and crew aboad when the boat crashes into Reykjavik harbour with no-one on board.
These two accounts make for an intreging mystery which perhaps knowing the fate and thinking the worse makes for uncomfortable reading at times. It is quite like the best of Agatha Christie's "Then there were none", with the hapless people seemingly trapped on a luxury yacht where you are mystified as to what is going on as it slowly dawns on you that you might no make it home.
The author is able to cranck up the suspense as the 'truth' is slowly revealed. Thora trying to make a case for all hands lost at sea so the elderly parents of the passengers and their grandchildren can plan for providing for the youngest granddaughter left as an orphan. The Police belatedly take a keener interest when another ship reports that the yacht radioed that a body had been found abord before all communications were lost with the stricken vessel.
The question is it an unexplained mystery like the Mary Celeste or is there a more rational explanation for what went on and if there could be survivors somewhere.
Original in its plot, and tied as usual to the Icelandic economy, although it is not set very much in the country some of its superstitions are carried into this terrifying tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Suspense on the Ocean 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is what Yrsa does best. Not your fast paced thriller but a slow-burning psychological tale of terror. Not as terrific as her last, which had extra bite because it was based on a true story. Also, I thought there was a glaring error in this but it turned out to be a part of the plot - she made a character able to drive with a broken leg. Still, this character, complete with cast, didn't hide the fact he was driving and no other character questioned it (I guess maybe you can drive an automatic with such an injury). So it had to drop a star.

In this, we are back with Thora and her eternal thorn-in-the-side secretary, Bella. In previous books in this series, I've felt we heard more about domestic whinging than we did a mystery. To so in this - although we keep up-to-date with what her children are doing, home life has been put in the background where it belongs. I even started to thaw towards Bella, who had been made so stupid and sullen in previous books that it became irritating.

This mystery is all the more creepy for being set on a yacht voyage from Lisbon to Reykjavik, with all the superstition of the seafaring community subtly woven in to add to the spine chilling disappearances of those on board. The yacht arrives in port devoid of human life, and the reader is drip fed the circumstances on board and how we lose each person, alternating with Thora and Bella trying to piece together the mystery.

My only further comment must be - buy it and read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent, this is my first book by this author and it won't be my last.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very exciting and nail biting book
Published 23 days ago by Pamela Jenner
5.0 out of 5 stars Would definitely recommend.
A chilling mystery novel. It covers the mysterious disappearance of the crew and passengers on a luxury yacht sailing to Iceland. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Yorkmum
5.0 out of 5 stars This must be Yrsa's best book by far
Compulsive reading. This must be Yrsa's best book by far, of all her great novels
Published 1 month ago by Welder Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Don't sail from Lisbon to Iceland on a super yacht
Published 1 month ago by Dieter Jaenicke
1.0 out of 5 stars 0 Star -Appalling book
Wish I could give it 0 stars.
Appalling book, no way can this be linked to Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by milly
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
The Times gave this a good review, stating that it was a classic of its type. Rubbish, it has wasted a lot of my time.
Published 1 month ago by David Harrison
4.0 out of 5 stars A good if rather gruesome story of an investigation into how ...
My first experience with this Icelandic writer. A good if rather gruesome story of an investigation into how a yacht seized by a bank after the Icelandic financial collapse turned... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Malcolm Stuart
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever
I read the first 30 pages, thought it too generic, but kept going and then realised I was hooked. The ending/explanation comes fast and the way you find out 'whodunit' is odd. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Burrows
5.0 out of 5 stars unputdownable
Excellent book, really enjoyed it. Praise to Yrsa for yet another book I couldn't put down.
Published 2 months ago by Mellymel
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