Friday, October 19, 2007

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

I had the evening to myself yesterday as boyfriend was out working. I decided to lie down on the cough and finish Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason. I started the book three nights ago while taking a bath and figured a quite night at home alone (but with the cats around and on top) would make for a good setting while finding out if the victim was really who I thought it was, if the bushes were planted for the reason I think they were, if Erlendur's daughter would wake up from her coma and how they'd manage finding out what happened all those years ago.

This is the second mystery novel I read from Arnaldur Indridason. The first one was Jar City and that one also featured Erlendur Sveinsson and his two detective colleagues; Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg.

This book starts with the findings of buried bones at a developing site for new houses. The body was put in the ground sometime around World War II. The detectives need to find out who the bones belong to, if this is a murder or not, if anyone is around remembering facts from back then and what used to be on the hill. This is told in chapters in present time but also in chapters about things that happened in the past. Parallel to those stories we follow Erlendur in his private life; dealing with his past and his daughter, who's in a coma.

I liked this novel. The whole thing is set in Iceland and it makes for a welcome change to me as most murder stories I read are from the US, England or Sweden. It doesn't just make the names and locations interesting but there's also something "foreign" about characters and their resoning. Sure, I guessed fairly quickly how it would all end, but I didn't care.

Sometimes the language interrupted my reading flow. I don't know if it is all based on the translation (as I read the Swedish translation called Kvinna i grönt) or if Arnaldur Indridason actually writes "a bit strange". My guess is that it's in the translation as the things I reacted to felt more like mistakes than anything else.

I'd give this novel a 4 out of 5. And I'm determined to read the rest of his books.


Queen of the froggers said...

Thay sounds like a great book. i hope your hands are better and you can knit again. thank you for the comment x

essjay said...

Sounds like the perfect evening! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book so much!