Friday, October 13, 2006

SILENCE OF THE GRAVE by Arnaldur Indridason (Thomas Dunne Books)

Competition among Icelandic crime writers might be low, but when one wins the the coveted Golden Dagger award, that's a different story! SILENCE is just the second of the author's books translated into English. Detective Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson and his team have a relatively benign case: old bones have turned up during construction of a new Reykjavik housing development. Then Erlendur gets a frightening call from his pregnant daughter, begging for help before she is cut off. In his efforts to help her, his mind is split—wondering about the case, worrying about his daughter, and remembering things from his own past.

The beauty of this book is not so much the story, but the way it unfolds. Flashbacks are woven in so skillfully, the reader often is tricked into making false assumptions about which storyline is being told. Then, an "aha" moment occurs, and the path becomes clearer, only to have a new fog drop and confuse one again. Then, as the final pages are read, one can look back and see—everything was there all along! This book is worthy of its honor.

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