Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Slience of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason


Arnaldur Indriðason. Silence of the Grave. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur, 2006.

When a skeleton is found outside Reykjavik, Inspector Erlandur begins his investigation even though the full skeleton cannot be exumed for a few days. The archaeologist and a medical student believe that the bone that is first found is probably at least 70 years old so the detective focuses his efforts on the 1930s and 1940s. We are introduced to a horrifying tale of domestic violence and the account of an American base on Iceland. While the Icelandic names make for difficult reading, the story itself is quite absorbing. In the beginning, I had difficulty sorting out the past story and the present story, but as the story moved on, I managed to navigate both lines. My biggest criticism lies in the cursing in the dialogue. I did not feel it was critical in any place and could have been handled without including the bad language as was done in other parts of the story. I wondered if it was present in the original Icelandic or if it was introduced by the translator into the narrative. Stories involving domestic violence are never easy to read, but this one was well-told and worth reading. 3.5 stars.

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