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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking volumes for abused families - past and present
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...
Published on 11 May 2005 by LizzySiddal

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately Entertaining Icelandic Detective Drama
This is the first book by Indridason I have read, and it was quite an enjoyable story; a murder mystery set in Reykjavik which spans 50 years, and has a charismatic lead detective. The main strengths of the book are its intertwining narratives - in the present day, the investigation and the personal problems of the morose detective, and two parallel historical mysteries...
Published on 7 July 2006 by Colin C


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking volumes for abused families - past and present, 11 May 2005
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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darkness and courage, 6 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) (Paperback)
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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such vivid descriptions that you cannot read it in one go, 14 Oct 2005
By 
Linda Oskam "dutch-traveller" (Amsterdam Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, 23 Sep 2007
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AG Stephenson "andrewjoychris" (Newhaven England) - See all my reviews
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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 (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
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. The book is divided into two subplots -- one subplot deals with the events of the past, while the other subplot centers on the current investigation. It is not an easy thing to do, going backwards and forwards in time, while still managing to maintain a level of suspense and to keep readers guessing as to the identity of the unearthed skeleton. And yet, the author managed this feat with ease, skill and finesse. And even though I expected and suspected certain developments, the denouncement still took me by some surprise. Truly, "Silence of the Grave" was very well done, and if you're looking for a fresh voice in the police procedural genre and one that will hold your interest from beginning to end, you will want to check both "Silence of the Grave" and "Jar City" out.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent second book in brilliant series, 27 Dec 2010
This review is from: Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) (Paperback)
I have recently started reading the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries series in the correct order, and it's a wonderful experience. If you're a fan of Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell, this is the book/series for you.

The story is the second in the series featuring Detective Erlendur, a somber, middle-aged Icelandic detective whose personal problems provide a suitable backdrop to the muder mysteries he has to solve. This book starts with the most gripping first sentence (won't spoil it, go and read it). A very old human skeleton is discovered in a new suburb and Erlendur and his team are called in to investigate. The mystery unfolds with frequent flashbacks, but Indridason masterfully interweaves the current story with a painful history. In the process the surly Detective comes to terms with his daughter Eva's pregnancy - she is a junkie who tries to build a relationship with her father. In this book a dramatic event from the detective's past is also uncovered, and one ends up feeling increasingly warm towards the loner.

I loved this story, its simple but effective style and marvellous depiction of a strange country, Iceland.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series..., 25 Nov 2010
This review is from: Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) (Paperback)
Having just finished the Reykjavik Murder Mystery series, I have to say this is the best of the set, and fully deserved it's CWA dagger award.
Indridason masterfully combines two narratives: the criminal investigation set in the present, and the historical narrative, (- one of his writing strengths, but unfortunately missing from some of the novels in the series). He keeps the reader guessing who dunnit, to the very end of this page turner.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately Entertaining Icelandic Detective Drama, 7 July 2006
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This is the first book by Indridason I have read, and it was quite an enjoyable story; a murder mystery set in Reykjavik which spans 50 years, and has a charismatic lead detective. The main strengths of the book are its intertwining narratives - in the present day, the investigation and the personal problems of the morose detective, and two parallel historical mysteries which may or may not lead him to the identities of the killer and indeed the victim. I did however find some of the writing to be a little ragged, which may be down to translation, and the ending is a little corny too. Overall, this is no world beater but it has a good sense of place, is a page-turner, and as such is worth a read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arnaldur Indridason - Silence of the Grave, 1 Nov 2005
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a second novel in translation from Indridason, and I reccomend it heartily. I can only hope that even more of these Erlendur - an interesting, icy, rather touching detective - are translated from the Icelandic. This culture is so completely foreign, and yet also so rearkably similar, to our own; Indridason's books are absolutely fascinating to read. His ability to capture his country is excellent; his ability to structure this crime novel, to slowly reveal the things to the reader in that moment JUST before they become aware of them, is masterful. So is his ability to shock you even when you think you have a rough idea of exactly how things are going to pan out. The way he structures this book too, with the two stories past and present sliding alongside each other, is excellent; not only intriguing (how are they connected?) but keeps each section fresh and the book interesting to read the whole way through. Silence of the Grave is a powerful story of families and abuse, and Indridason deserves all the praise he's getting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and beautiful book, 6 Dec 2007
I bought this book on a whim while looking for something a bit different and having just committed to my son going on the school trip to Iceland.

I enjoyed every page, as it moved between the Iceland of today and the war time Iceland. All the characters were believable and the incredible feeling of darkness and despair was breathtaking.......an emotional mixture of whodunnit, weary detective, family difficulties and the dark lonely sorrow of domestic violence.

A great read..........
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Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2)
Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2) by Arnaldur Indridason (Paperback - 7 Oct 2010)
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