Monica's Reviews > Silence of the Grave

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason
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Jan 08, 12

bookshelves: crime-and-or-evil, scandinavia
Read in January, 2012

When a teething child at a birthday party turns out to be chewing on a long buried human rib, it's the beginning of another hard slog for Erlendur and his team.

The bone came from a construction site, and it will require the help of a team of archaeologists to unearth the entire skeleton. In the meanwhile, the detectives are canvassing residents of the sparsely populated area, trying to find out who may have lived nearby during WWII. There was an American army base, and a few local families.

The narrative switches between the current search and the story of one of the families, a woman and three children living in terror of the brutal father. The description of the abusive household is pretty horrific.

Erlendur's drug addicted, pregnant daughter miscarries and is in a coma, and he visits, trying to talk to her, to bring her back. His furiously bitter ex-wife shows up and tries to drive him away, as she has always done - refusing him contact with their children, then blaming him for how terrible they are.

In the end, the mystery is solved, Erlendur has a moment of hope with his daughter and things are slightly less bleak.
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