Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indriðason, Bernard Scudder In this book everything is extremely awful all the time except very very rarely when it slightly isn't. A cold case mystery set in Reykjavik, it unfolds at a nice, brisk pace. The characterizations too sometimes seem almost blunt, laid out in this kind of stripped, businesslike manner. The prose is very, very bare, with a great deal of "Then she said so and so and he explained such and such", rather than actual dialogues or scenes. It's almost ugly, in places, but I think it works, somehow, adding up with the bleakness of the story to give everything this very stark, distant, awful quality. Then the very partial and probably inadequate graces the story permits itself stand out unexpectedly bright.

So, quite good, overall. Not exactly my sort of thing, but welcome anyway - kind of exotic and sharp, in the style and the setting and everything.