Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Buried secrets

Buried secrets are brought to light in Silence of the Grave, one of the early entries in Arnaldur Indridason's successful series of Icelandic mysteries.

A skeleton is found after, shockingly, a little boy is seen teething with a human finger bone. The skeleton, discovered with one hand reaching up as if reaching from the grave, appears to have been in the ground for decades. It also gives the appearance of murder.

Digging up the body is left to archaeologists, which means that even determining the sex or approximate age of the victim takes several days, but even so Inspector Erlendur and his team begin their investigation immediately. They discover that in the area where the body was buried a young woman, made pregnant by someone other than the man she was engaged to marry, had disappeared, and an abusive man had lived with his wife and three children. Might the body belong to one of these people?

Yet Indridason writes about other buried secrets as well, those long hidden by Inspector Erlendur himself. Long estranged from his wife and two children, he receives a brief call for help from Eva Lind, his angry, pregnant and drug-addicted daughter. When he finds her, she is in a coma. The doctor suggests that in those hours spent at her hospital bedside Erlendur talk to his daughter. Perhaps she will hear him. But what can he say to a daughter he has never been able to talk to or who has never been willing to listen to anything he has to say? So the police officer, when off duty, tells Eva Lind about his life, revealing burdensome secrets he has never told anyone.

This is a powerful tale that will make you want to read others in the Reykjavik series.

No comments:

Post a Comment