Normally I try and avoid reading series, especially crime series, out of order. However, with Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason, which I is number four in the Inspector Erlendur series, it doesn’t seem to matter. Such is the pace and quality of the writing that you’re immediately flung into the world of the dour, melancholic Inspector with the fractured family and the cold-case murder he investigates.
When a skeleton is found beneath a construction site, the apparent murder also becomes an archaeological dig that forces the inspector and his team to look to the past for both questions and answers.
The book segues between events during WWII in Iceland when British and American forces held bases in parts of the country and the present, as the reader meets a brutalised young mother and her oppressed family between episodes of the inspector dealing with his own dysfunctional one.
Bleak, dark, and bitter like the weather that defines this part of the world, and yet with characters that enter your heart and won’t leave, this is a gripping book that I found impossible to tear myself away from. Events unfold slowly, languidly even, contradicting the terror some of the scenes evoke and the feelings of impotence and silent rage that too often accompany them.
Not a light read by anyone’s stretch of the imagination, but a fulfilling one it was. Looking forward to reading more by Indridason and learning about the brooding Inspector who can solve everyone else’s problems but his own.