Friday, December 7, 2007
Silence of the Grave
Arnaldur Indridason hits it again! Silence of the Grave the follow up to Jar City, is a stinger, each storyline is like biting into a lemon, it smells so good but is oh so sour. I don’t know if this sounds complementary but I mean it with the highest praise. We return a few months where we last left Erlendur Sveinnson in Reykjavik. His daughter Eva Lind has disappeared during her seventh month of pregnancy after putting in a desperate call for help to her father, meanwhile Erlendur’s team is investigating the identity of decades old human remains uncovered on a construction site on the outskirts of the city. As usual Erlendur has good instincts about the bones and available clues despite being preoccupied with the search, discovery, and vigil for his daughter. I particularly liked a unique device Mr. Indridason uses throughout the book, he tells the back story of the bones simultaneously with that of the investigation, carefully unfolding a tale of domestic violence, love, and payback which comes to a head at the end of the book when the stories finally collide.
I enjoyed Silence of the Grave both for the mystery at hand and as the second installment in the life of Erlendur Sveinnson. Arnaldur Indridason has created the Icelandic Harry Bosch, who may actually be more compelling because of his sordid past and morose nature. Where Harry is likeable, Erlendur is difficult; his colleagues find him intriguing but keep him at bay. Where Harry has friends that stick by him, Erlendur is a lone wolf, somber and inaccessible, except perhaps to his daughter, if only she can survive the underworld of drugs she is trying to escape. Silence of the Grave lets readers in on a few more pieces of the puzzle that made Erlendur who he is and certainly the drama of his life will keep us coming back.
The only criticism I have of this book is that parts of the mystery are predictable; while there are some twists and turns and a very good dead end, ultimately the resolution of events is somewhat expected. I think the strength of the characters and their thoughts, however, makes up for this, with the human interest side of the story the most intriguing aspect of the book.
Posted by Ana Dziengel at 11:17 AM