Review of The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

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Have you ever been drawn into a story so deeply that you forget where you are? This is one of those compelling reads. When the luxury yacht Lady K is repossessed in Lisbon to be returned to Reykjavik, she arrives home with no passengers or crew aboard. Aegir, who works for the repossession company, his wife Lara and their eight year old twin daughters Arna and Bylgia were supposed to be on board, returning from a holiday in Lisbon. They, the captain and two crew members have disappeared completely.

Aegir`s elderly parents are looking after the youngest daughter, two year old Sigga Dögg while her family are away on holiday. They discover that they would be the beneficiaries of their son`s life insurance policy in the event of Aegir and Lara`s deaths. The total amount they would receive would be 2 million Euros – a vast amount of money which would help them bring up Sigga Dogg, even though the social services are insisting that this is not practical because of their advancing years. As yet, there is no proof of death, so they approach lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir for help with the insurance claim.

Thora works with the police to unravel what could possibly have happened during the voyage, starting with Aegir and his family. He offered to be a replacement crew member for the one who had broken his leg the day before the yacht was due to sail and cancelled their flight home. Mysterious things happen on board – communications are not working and they have to deal with an Atlantic storm. The yacht is supposedly cursed: does evil stalk the decks? Are they all dead or are they just lost at sea? These are the questions which must be answered.

A potent and absorbing tale, we learn from first-hand knowledge the events on board and the mystery being untangled on shore. There are many red herrings to distract Thora, including the disappearance of the former owner`s beautiful but spoilt young wife. You will not see the dramatic denouement coming. Very well worth curling up with for a rip-roaring sea saga! Well done, Yrsa.

Reviewed by Liz.

Thank you to Hodder for sending us a copy to review.