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The Silence of the Sea    by Yrsa Sigurdardottir order for
Silence of the Sea
by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2017 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Yrsa Sigurdardottir's The Silence of the Sea mixes mystery and horror as readers wonder about the fate of a young family gone missing - what happened to them being gradually revealed through flashbacks as series lead, attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir, investigates on behalf of her clients.

The family had gone aboard a luxury yacht in Lisbon, but when it eventually crashes into a Reykjavik pier, there is no-one on board. The father worked for a bank that had taken over ownership of the yacht, and saw an opportunity for a free family vacation, not a wise decision it turns out.

The grandparents, with whom the youngest daughter of the family had been left, hire Thora to try to find out what happened and help them deal with the insurance company. As she struggles to understand this puzzling disappearance, readers view a series of chilling flashbacks of what actually happened on the boat.

Though the horror increases steadily through the novel (as those aboard the yacht are eliminated in turn), it's somewhat leavened by the usual humor of Thora's dealings with her very difficult and often malicious secretary Bella, who regularly gives cause to be fired - one has to wonder why not. But it is funny to watch Thora try to cope with her.

Thora investigates the celebrity couple who had owned the yacht. The much younger, and very glamorous wife, seems to have gone missing too, as has a fortune. And police struggle with the identity of a female corpse also found on the yacht.

Sigurdardottir always delivers a powerful story and has done so again in The Silence of the Sea, but with a much stronger element of horror than usual. If you enjoy that genre, you'll appreciate this mystery.

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